Our current message to the food industry: Supply + Demand = opportunity! The message is catching on and more and more food processors are adding more blueberry to new and traditional items. Check out this “Great Value” bar sold at WALMART. Blueberries identification all over the pack. Check out the ingredient statement and the filling is made from a blueberry puree concentrate as one of the top ingredients! This product has a very nice flavor and blueberry aroma and will satisfy the consumer demand for real blueberries!
In my work with the Blueberry Council, I get to travel around the country meeting producers and food processors. We have strategic plans, focus groups, meetings… At a recent conference I ran into Rob Richert of Richert Blueberries in Spring Lake, Michigan. This is near Grand Haven, Michigan on the West Coast of Lake Michigan. His family has been growing blueberries for three generations.
Bob handed me a jar of his Blueberry Preserves. On the attractive label it says: “Fresh berries from our bushes to your table.” On the ingredient statement: Michigan Blueberries, pure cane sugar, pectin and fruit (Citric) acid. Blueberries are the primary ingredient and this is what you get when you open the jar. It has a great aroma and blueberry flavor. Rob — thank you and you got this one right!!!
I love travelling East to visit the growers in Jersey. A first stop is a local supermarket to buy a bunch of Tastykake, made by Tasty Baking in Philadelphia. Check out the website: http://www.tastykake.com and you will see that they have been in business for almost 100 years! (About the same as the Jersey Blueberry Growers) Still they are not available on the West Coast, although they are in Las Vegas! Check out the Tastykake Mini blueberry pie!
Here is what they say:
“Each personal-sized Tastykake pie is baked to perfection with a light, flaky crust and delicious filling. My comment: it is a perfect individual size and comes in a nice tin which keeps the pie intact. It has a lot of blueberry inside!
Blueberries are the second ingredient after flour and that will make the growers pretty happy. The filling has a large percentage of blueberry and you can see and feel the the whole blueberries! Note: the label says: “Fresh Baked Daily.” You got to reach fast to get one of these blueberry pies. On my visit to Walmart in Hammonton, NJ (30 min from Tastykake HQ) — only one blueberry pie was left from the days delivery! The story manager says you got to come early to get the blueberry pie!
For years, I have been touting the potential for blueberries in non-foods — especially natural cosmetics. Some may think a crazy idea — but look! I just expanded my Global New Products Report from MINTEL to include non-food categories and was amazed! I expected a few blueberry-containing items in Korea where anything goes. But, the search revealed 6,000 new blueberry products in the last decade. Not just Asia, but North America as well.
I highlight some of these items in the next few days — but they are incredible! And most important — they do use real blueberries and tout the health benefits that mirror a lot of the health benefits backed up by science!
Just picked up a package of Nabisco’s “Made with Real Fruit”100% Whole Grain Newtons — with Real Blueberry! On the pack: Another Newtonism — When life hands you some blueberries. Put them in a Newtons Cookie! Good idea! We love the fact that this product uses a significant amount of blueberry puree. Yes, one of the top ingredients and blueberry images decorate the package! You can bet that smart brand managers recognized the consumer attraction to blueberries.
Now–things just keep getting better. Check out the Newton Fruit Thins which include real dried blueberries. Another Newtonism: “In Every Dark Cloud Look for a Blueberry Lining!” Great job Nabisco!