What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Sunday, September 30, 2018

September 2018 - New Product of the Month

This month we saw a lot of new "Blueberry" containing snack bars.  Some did not contain blueberries!  Field day lists real blueberries as the main ingredient (after sweetener) in the filling!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Mexico Food Tech Summit - 2018

USHBC will exhibit at the Mexico Food Tech Summit and Expo held in Mexico City September 26-27.  Prior to the show -- Meetings have been scheduled with some of the leading food processing companies in Mexico.  Viva Mexico!

The Mexico food industry is on the move.  Grupo Bimbo is the largest bakery in the world and also the largest bakery in the USA and Canada as well as Central and South America.   They just opened operations in China!   Rich's Products distributes bakery ingredients all over the nation of 130 million.  Kellogg's and Quaker operate thriving businesses in cereals and snack bars.   This is not to mention all of the important regional and national food processing companies!

USHBC has been working in the Mexican food industry for the past 15 years and we have seen a lot of changes  -- for the good.
New Blueberry Products as of 9/24/2018

  • Companies are calling blueberries -- blueberries!  Some still call "mora Azul," but few "arándano" which means cranberry!
  • Some of the most innovative products in North America are coming from Mexico. Mexico is home to ancient grains and we are seeing more and more blueberry combinations.
  • The health snack sector loves blueberries.  Bars contain dried blueberries.
  • Dairy manufacturers are flavoring with blueberry.
Big week ahead!  Go Blueberries!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Can-Do Cambodia!

USHBC FoodTech Hana Huynh visits Cambodia to assess future market for processed blueberries!   

Following the USHBC Strategic plan, USHBC FoodTech explores new long-term markets for highbush blueberries!  Since joining the team one year ago, Hana has visited most of the "Tiger Economies" of Southeast Asia, attending or exhibiting at food manufacturing expositions, meeting with experts such as importers, exporters, distributors and manufacturers.  These are the future customers for US blueberries and ingredients.

  • Cambodia is a nation of about 16 million
  • Although Cambodia is sometimes remembered as a land of turmoil and strife, it has stabilized and has become one of the leading tourist destinations in Southeast Asia with remnants of ancient civilizations, temples and a rich culinary legacy.
  • Cambodia is developing a high level urban infrastructure with modern roads, mass transit and the sign of affluence: Mega Malls and grocery stores.
  • The country has a well educate hard working labor pool which has drawn major Asian and European companies into the region to develop factories that can capitalize on the abundant raw materials.
  • Although a poor country overall, there is a rising middle class and wealthy upper class with spending power.    
  • Cambodians are a nation of "foodies" and some say their local cuisine is one of the most sophisticated on earth with multiple spices, and classical French influence from colonial Indo-China days.  

Here are some views of the New Pnom Penh:

Religion is everywhere.   Streets are immaculate.  Gourmet Cambodian meals can be enjoyed at roadside stands.  Make sure to try the curry catfish!!! If you look beyond the temple you will see a new 5-star hotel and shopping complex.

Time for shopping.   Most stores are local chains, and are modeled after Singapore and Hong Kong markets.  They include smaller malls and include first class bakeries where you can get a world-class French baguette!

Cambodia is a fruit consuming country and the aroma of durian is everywhere.  Despite all of the fruit in the country you will find imported juices everywhere as well as sweet jams, jellies and preserves.   

Here is the inside of one of the many mega malls in Phnom Penh. 

Time for the CamFood Expo.  This is a very new concept in Cambodia.  With a booming high-end tourist traffic, the country is moving to increase quality of local goods and also ease up import requirements.    

Here is the USA Pavilion.   For now it is mainly meat and poultry.   Now US ingredient companies are trickling in to grab first dibs on the food and hotel supply.   We met with importers, distributors and manufacturers.  Many will be attending the Food Ingredients Asia Expo in Jakarta in October and will stop and visit the USHBC booth.  

Japanese and Korean companies such as Kewpie (mayonnaise) are now established in Cambodia.  Khon Ghuan -- a large Malaysian biscuit company opened manufacturing operations in Cambodia.   It is a matter of time before the big Korean companies arrive!

What Next?  Cambodia is on our radar screen.   We see immediate opportunities for fresh and frozen polybag for hotel and restaurant trades which in turn are give exposure to the population.   We are seeing baking, dairy and confectionery operations starting up in Cambodia and the food industry is also a long term target.  With a USHBC FoodTech positioning in the region -- we can easily asses and service  these new markets and get in at the start of something special!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Taiwan Bakery Seminar

Celebrity Pastry Chef Joanne Chang, presented blueberries and other USA ingredients at a series of seminars for bakers held throughout Taiwan!  She wowed the audience with sticky bun magic!

 News Broadcast of Seminar     Note the huge super typhoon which barely missed Taiwan!  Good Luck!

Here are some photos from the events:

Chef Joanne demonstrated how to take flour and blueberries and turn into gold!

Local chef prepares muffin batter with frozen blueberries which are now available all over Taiwan.

Muffins packed with blueberries!

Event was sponsored by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)  

Full house at all of the events.

As you can see, the attendees enjoyed the sticky buns!

Media turned up at each venue in the major cities of Taiwan.

Success!  This group gives the thumbs up!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Big G! This is what I'm Talking About!

Here is an example of General Mills keeping true to their commitment to remove artificial colors and additives and use the real thing! 

Blueberry powder!  Works well in extruded cereal flakes.

Note this important claim for those who really need gluten free products.

Now this is very interesting!   I like the way that the FIRST INGREDIENT is spotlighted!    

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I'm Excited about Éxito!

Welcome to Éxito.  This Colombia-based grocery chain is the largest in South America with 2,606 stores and growing!

 Here are a few observations from my recent journey to a store in Bogota!

(above/below) Here are the native "Agraz."  

Fresh locally produced highbush blueberries.   Note that they are labeled "Arandanos" which is the same word used for cranberries.

Dried blueberries from Manitoba -- one of the Dynamo Award winners.  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Viva Colombia!

2018 Dynamo New Product Award Winners!
I love it when a plan comes together.    We have seen interest in blueberries in Colombia for the past few years.   Whenever we exhibit at Miami, we always meet Colombian importers and  food processors with interest.  This country of 49 million is on the rise.   With an end of a civil war which has hindered the economy since the mid-1960s-- Colombia is on the move.
>Colombians love blueberries.  They have a native species in the wild and have been developing a small domestic crop to feed demand.
>Colombian food processors are on the leading edge of new product development with blueberries.   Since USHBC started work in-country two years ago, we have seen developments of new blueberry products including, baking, snacks and confectionery.
>Dried blueberries and ingredient solutions such as flakes and powders are used in the food industry and poly-bag frozen blueberries can be found in supermarkets nationwide!
On September 7, 2018 USHBC held it's first annual Dynamo New Product Award for innovation.   Check out this video.  You can sense the excitement!  Watch this market grow!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Check out the online newsletter for the upcoming Almentech exhibition in Bogota, Colombia September 5-6.   Alimentech

Monday, September 3, 2018

India Bakery Seminar - 2018

USA Blueberries took center stage at the Food Ingredients India Exposition.   Here a master chef demonstrates making a cheese bun with dried blueberries!  It was a big hit!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

More Food Ingredent India Action!

Food Ingredients India (FII) in Greater Noida (Delhi) concluded today.   Our FoodTech Raj Kapoor says it was a big success.   This year we opted for a double wide booth and set up a "Blueberry Lounge."  This allowed room for meetings.   In advance of the show, Raj invited dozens of current sellers of frozen dried and further processed blueberries to the show.   These early-adapter companies are extremely important for market development.  They already have product in-country and most companies are looking for local supplies much smaller than the full-container loads.   These companies participated in the event along with USHBC and this teamwork really pays off with good will and more business in the food industry sector.  

At the same time new players visited the booth and this included companies from far off regions who have heard the news about USA blueberries!   These companies are handled differently and leads are passed back to the home office for follow-up and connection to the USA suppliers.  One thing for sure -- several years ago when we exhibited -- it was pretty lonely at the Blueberry Booth.  Now, we are really a center of attraction!  USA Blueberries are hot!

Mascot Fans were a bit hit again in Delhi -- imagine 89 F and 70% humidity outside!   

You may be wondering what the guy in the white shirt is doing on the smart phone all of the time. He is adding visitor names to the USHBC-India What's ap group.  It is a really active group and once you are on it you are connected to all sorts of interaction with blueberry-interested  peers!