Blueberry FoodTech

What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blueberry Beverage Seminar - Vietnam

Hana in "scooter gear" ready to zip around Old Saigon!
Somebody asked me today, what's up with Hana in HCM City? Besides publishing a blueberry technical brochure, attending foodservice promotion, and designing new booth for the upcoming Food Ingredients Vietnam (FIV).  The phone rings and she was invited to present at a beverage seminar in conjunction with the show.  Beverages are a big business in steamy Vietnam and we are approaching dairy and fruit juice companies with USA blueberry ingredient solutions.

Here is Hana's Presentation!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bollywood Goes Blueberries!

Blueberries and "Mr. Bollywood" Amitabh Bachchan!

Plot:  The film's plot is based on a Gujarati Play by the same name. Amitabh Bachchan plays a 102-year-old man and Rishi Kapoor his his 75-year-old son.  The plot revolves around the 102-year-old man trying to break the record for the oldest person in the world, held in the movie by a Chinese man.  One of the main themes has to do with the duo changing diet and shopping for anti-aging associated foods such as dried blueberries.  Yes, they really do go shopping and pick up dried blueberries in the film!
Rostaa, a supplier of dried blueberries was quick to team up with the film and below you will see a country-wide promotion for their product with a grand prize of a meeting with the star!

Here is the online contest solicitation

Father and son visit the Supermarket to look for the "fountain of youth."

Here is the Rostaa Dried Blueberry selection!

How did it all happen.  Our man in Delhi, Raj Kapoor -- not to be confused with the famous actor -- met up with Rostaa five years ago at a trade show.  I remember as at the time the mantra was "too expensive!"  Most dried fruits are sold in traditional dried fruit markets and are a low cost commodity.  Rostaa has been cooperating with USHBC on promotions, exhibitions and market development in the food industry.  Business has grown and they are selling all over this country of 1.3 billion.  Congratulations to Rostaa.   Congratulations to Raj and all of USHBC who continue to make things happen around the world!

Getting Savory in Seoul

The excitement is building in Seoul. No, I am not referring to the governmental Summit -- but the Seoul Food and Hotel Exposition (SFH) which will be held May 1-4 in Ilsan.   Last year, our Korea Food Tech began exploring market development opportunities in the savory area. That is -- not too sweet!  Koreans love all things spicy, garlic and pickled!  (The national dish is fermented cabbage called Kimche!)

No mascot this year, but Sunyong will display his Korean Fighting Spirit" at the booth and show new blueberry savory items that are in the works!

So far, great reception, and some of the leading sauce and prepared entrée companies have shown interest. Who knows in the future blueberry Kinchee will be a household item!

Here is a pickled blueberry concept we are sampling at the SFH.   It is adapted from a 1960s North American Blueberry Council (NABC) book.

  • (bapsang, 밥상)  A bapsang is a table for serving meals and snacks.   In Korean culture, sitting on a mat with a bapsang is a very important social activity with family or friends.  It normally includes dozens of small side dishes and of course piles of kimchee!  
  • No bapsang is complete without beverages -- of course including Korean beer--but more likely Soju (소주 ), a vodka-like beverage made from rice, barley or sweet potato.  Another favorite is Makgeolli (막걸리) a milky sake-like beverage. Sunyong is also working on blueberry addition to these two beverages!
Notice the blueberry blossoms in the artwork -- this is a first!  Most Soju is in the 15% alcohol content range but can be also up in the 50s.

Makgeolli is sweet and smooth, but really has a kick that sneaks up on you.   It has been traditionally made with native Korean black raspberries, but now it is time for blueberry!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Berry Interesting Frozen Dessert!

Over the years we see a lot of blueberry sorbets and blueberry swirl ice creams.   Now, this new Blueberry Cardamom Ice cream from So Delicious in Oregon is interesting in many ways:

  • Besides a swirl made with real blueberry puree, it contains real frozen blueberries.   
  • The base is made from coconut milk
  • The background flavor is cardamom
On pack: "Spice things up.  Bright blueberries, a little cardamom spice and coconuts make a delicious flavor combo in our creamy coconut milk frozen dessert.

We are seeing more and more unusual and spicy combinations of blueberry and spices in the dairy case.  This includes lavender, turmeric, chili and all sorts of flavors.   The USA is adapting the ice cream flavor palates of the Middle East where Persian ice cream is well known for exotic combinations of dairy and spice.  

This has inspired me to write the next issue of the Berry Latest newsletter on Dairy!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Food Ingredients Vietnam

The excitement is building for the USHBC participation in the Food Ingredients Vietnam Exposition which will be held May 16-18 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  This is a trade-only event and will bring together food manufacturers and suppliers from throughout the region.  Vietnam has a booming food industry and we will meet some of the largest dairy, candy and baking companies from all over the long country.  Hana, our food technologist in Vietnam has been asked to present a seminar at a beverage conference at  the event!

How are things going in Southeast Asia: Lets take a ride!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Global Pet Expo 2018

So, you did not make it to Global Pet Expo (GPE), 2018 held March 21-23 in Orlando, Florida.  Well, no worry -- check out this video on all of the action.  Blueberries on the labels, in the products and on the minds now of the product developers.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

USA Dried Blueberries - a Hit in India

Raj Kapoor, Our man in Delhi!
Infused dried blueberries are a hit in India!

139,000 kg of infused dried blueberries were legally imported into India in 2017 according to the Fruit and Treenuts Statistics published online by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS)  Screen shots provided as well as the source.  
  • USHBC began market development in India in 2008 when zero were imported.
  • This amounts to 486,000 lbs. of dried blueberries
  • Today at least 25 companies are packing consumer dried blueberries and product is also used in restaurants and foodservice as well as cookie and biscuit manufacturing.
  • It took 1.7 million lbs. of frozen blueberries to produce the dried blueberries which were exported to India. (based on 3.5 to 1)
  • Initially when Raj Kapoor started work on this sector, there was no interest from dried fruit traders.   Now, it is described as hot!
  • Indian packed dried blueberries are now being shipped to countries around the region including the Persian Gulf.
  • Now, one after another -- dry blueberry packers are signing up for use of the real blueberries seal to ensure that the customers know this is authentic.
  • Recently at the Gulfood show in Dubai, I met with dozens of Indian dried blueberry customers and all said they were introduced by Raj!
Congratulations to Raj Kapoor, our man in Delhi for a job well done!

Here is the information from the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service ERS.  They receive their data from US Customs.  Below is the actual screen shot.

Here are some of the actual people who purchase dried blueberries from the USA who were introduced by USHBC! These shots taken at the AAHAR exhibition recently