What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Japan - Convenience Store Blueberry Packs

Last year we showed the small 125 gram (4.4 ounces)  frozen blueberry packs sold in convenience stores in Japan.  Now, here is the 77.5 gram (2.7 ounces)  I watched as office workers purchased the dried packs to snack on at the desk.   Blueberries are still associated with good eyesight and eyestrain relief.  Now it is interesting to see young lady office workers snapping up the dried blueberries which are more and more associated with beauty and skin care.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dried US Highbush Blueberry Shipments to Japan Continue to Soar

Japan has always been a fresh and frozen market for blueberries.  Now take a look at the rise in dried highbush blueberries from the USA!

Source: US Customs. -  US Blueberries only.

Here is the deal:
>1,481,000 kg of dried blueberries exported from the USA to Japan in 2016.
>>This converts to 3.26 million lbs.
>>Multiply this by the 3.5 lbs needed to make one lb. of dried blueberries = 8.15 million lbs of blueberries utilized!

Demand determinants:

Beauty - Confectionery and Totally new products are leading the way in 2017!

>Beauty.   Grocery and convenience stores market dried blueberries in health and beauty sections along side slimming and products with health and beauty association.  (Beauty from Within)

Blueberries for skin care and beauty.

Asahi is one of the leading food and beverage companies in Japan and now have designed products with blueberries as a ingredient along with other beauty-identified ingredients.

>Confectionery.  On the food industry side, Japanese companies are integrating dried blueberries into confectionery (panned blueberries) ice creams and traditional Japanese confectionery (wagashi).

Dried blueberries are integrated into cheese cake bar called "mazuko."

>New Categories!

Take a walk in any park in Tokyo and you will understand why quality natural pet foods are the rage.  Pampered little-white dogs are everywhere.  Watch this category!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Hong Kong Loves Dried Blueberries

Hong Kong has always been a great market for fresh US blueberries.  Now, Hong-Kongers are turned on to dried blueberries.  Check out the recent dried blueberry promotion at Manning's -- a large variety store chain.   Now -- that's a lot of blueberries being sold in a drug store!

Loads of dried blueberries are promoted at hundreds of Mannings stores throughout South China and Hong Kong.
Mannings operates stores all over South China, Macau and Malaysia.

Stores operate as health and beauty advisors. 
More and more stores are featuring dried blueberries including grocery stores, pharmacies and even traditional Chinese medicine stores.  USHBC HK rep Heidi Chui is always on the lookout for promotions and works with manufacturers and importers alike. 

Hong Kong consumers are turning to dried blueberries as a snack and gifting item during festivals.   Some may end up in Mainland China but a lot is staying in the territory of 7.3 million.  In 2016 1,4 million kg were shipped to Hong Kong.  That's 3.2 million lbs.  When you factor that it takes 3.5 lbs of frozen blueberries to create each lb of dried blueberries -- this brings the HK total to: 8 million lbs of US blueberries flowing to HK in this channel!

Demand Determinants:

  • Hong Kongers love fresh-fresh blueberries and this is the next best thing.
  • Dried blueberries are associated with beauty and skin care and are often sold in pharmacies near imported cosmetics and skin care products.
  • Dried blueberries are becoming a "gifting" staple for the many Cantonese festivals where gift exchange is custom.  (Moon Festival, Spring Festival, Sweeping day etc.)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Japan Blueberry Associaton Booth at IFIA

We had a nice visit with the Japan Blueberry Association.  They do great work to raise awareness of the health benefits of blueberries.

The booth always includes live blueberry plants which are a big draw.

This map shows the chronology of blueberry production in Japan.

History and tradition are very important to the Japanese blueberry growers.  This chart shows some of the important promotional activities in the early 1990s.

Japanese growers are proud to be part of the global blueberry family.

You do not need a translation to understand the Association's infographics on health benefits of blueberries.  

No bar chart, but these stars indicate blueberry health benefits compared to other fruits. 

This is my favorite chart which appears to indicate a link between blueberries and accurate free throw shooting by basketball players.   I think!

Images of IFIA

Here is a collection of images from various booths at the IFIA exposition.   Beauty seems to be the next big thing!

Friday, May 26, 2017

IFIA Action

Japan has become a rising market for further processed blueberries such as dried, powder and juice.
Here are some action shots from the USHBC booth at the Food Tech Exposition in Tokyo. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fresh Blueberries in Florida Schools

Check out the creative use of fresh blueberries in a Fort Myers, Florida school! 

India National New Product Launch- Blueberry Beverage

It's a big deal!   Newspaper, television and radio ads throughout India to announce the launch of a new blueberry-containing beverage.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Japan Food Tech Exposition

USHBC returns to the premiere food tech exposition in Japan - International Food Ingredients and Additives -- also known as IFIA.  (May 24-26, 2017 at Tokyo Big Site)  This is a show similar to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) back in the USA.   Exhibitors are "ingredient solution" suppliers such as powders, purees, liquids and concentrates.  The attendees are some of the leading food manufacturing companies from Japan and all over Asia.  

Welcome to the largest ingredient exhibition in Japan!

Beauty Emphasis
Beauty is everywhere!  Manufacturers of other beauty related ingredients surround USHBC.

All systems go!  Ready for the show!

Beauty from Within - Japan

This product says it all --  Beauty & Healthy.

The product is sold in convenience stores throughout Japan and includes beauty-associated ingredients like collagen.

The blueberry beauty craze has spread all over Asia.  Note the number of new blueberry-containing beauty products in the Philippines.  The concept-- blueberry extract on the ingredient statement and lots of blueberry identity on the package!

2017 Highlights

Here is a popular product from China that associates beauty and eye care.

This Nivea lip butter is sold throughout the region, 

Shower Gel from Marks & Spencer sold in the Philippines.