Good morning Dubai! The excitement is building for the start of the Gulfood Exposition which will run from February 11-22. The big news which will be unveiled at the meeting of the Gulf Purchasers Management Forum (GPMF) will be the regional product launch of "Just Berry" a 1kg foodservice pack for hotels, restaurants and smoothie outlets.
Until now, frozen berries have been a rarity in the region where the outside temperatures are often in double digits. It is 90F on this beautiful February day in Dubai!
Now this USA product, packed in India by Anusaya Fresh the bill!
Note the identification of the Real Blueberries ™ Seal on the pack. The seal has become popular with packaged goods users in India, and now the Gulf region. Daily companies are signing up for use of this beautiful and Gulf Region) culturally acceptable logo. This product is all American and sure to be a hit in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.
Beam back five years: USHBC worked with Anusaya Fresh in Mumbai on importation and distribution of frozen blueberries through the USDA-FAS Quality Samples Program (QSP). At that time frozen blueberries were almost non-existent in India. Now Anusaya and others are successfully marketing frozen blueberries all over the country and now the Gulf.
Prior to the QSP program -- India imported zero kg of frozen blueberries. As of November 2017, India has imported 171,000 kg (377,000 lbs). This accounts for more than $250,000 in new business for USA blueberry packers to the most improbable market on earth.
Note: India also imports more than 110,000 kg (242,000 lbs) of dried infused blueberries and much of this has gone to fill consumer packs -- also utilizing the USHBC Real™ Blueberries Seal. This amounted to another $445,000 in new business. Some of the consumer packs are carrying the USHBC Real™ Blueberries Seal and the queue is lining up for more! In the last few years since we introduced dried blueberries to India, there have been imposters and now the USHBC Real™ Blueberries Seal has helped remove or renew some of the confusing analogs!
Raj Kapoor, our Indian FoodTech has made the initial contacts, folllowup and numerous night train factory visits, exhibitions and seminars to engineer these new developments.
Let's all salute the Blueberry Raj of India!
Note: all statistics noted in this post can be verified at the USDA-Economic Research Service Fruit and Treenuts Statistics web portal.