USHBC has paid attention to our neighbors to the south with fresh and processed promotions and exhibitions. This region known as the Caribbean Basin included the big countries of Mexico and Brazil, but also dozens of smaller countries and island nations.
- Dominican Republic = 10.4 million
- Costa Rica = 4.8 million
- Trinidad and Tobago = 1.3 million
Besides the local populations — these nations all have active tourism businesses. Miami is the central supply center for these countries and since most import just about all of their needs — the major importers, grocers and food processors on these islands will work with consolidators who buy and warehouse and ship. These little markets combined do add up! We estimate more than 4 million lbs of US blueberries to the Caribbean Island Region alone! We see further growth in Central America with countries like Costa Rica, Colombia and and others developing strong food industries and growing interest in blueberries.
Here is a photo of the America’s Food Show in Miami! Note the exhibitors from all over the region and the globe. This year 1/3 of the show was comprised of a huge Algerian pavilion. (Don’t ask me why…) Besides attendees, USHBC was able to meet with exhibitors from dozens of countries who produce products in places such as Trinidad, Brazil, Jamaica and others.
The China market for fresh blueberries is the “Sierra Madre” of the Blueberry world. China does grow blueberries and not enough to serve the market. USHBC is currently working with our partners at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) who are working on our behalf to help open the Chinese market to US blueberries. We are providing the background information and rationale, and APHIS is negotiating directly with their counterparts in China called AQSIQ.
In advance of meetings we provided documentation:
- Currently most Chinese produced blueberries are produced in June-August and with imports from the Southern Hemisphere, there are major market gaps when Chinese grocery chains not supplied.
- Even during the peak periods of local production, supply of fresh blueberries has not met demand.
- We are looking for a win-win situation and everyone will win when US fresh blueberries enter the Chinese market.
This week, USHBC is participating in the Americas Food Show in Miami. This includes all of the Americas from Brazil to the Caribbean islands. Here, USBC Brazil representative Katia Miura meets with a Brazilian manufacturer.
The Chinese Moon Festival (aka. Mid Autumn Festival) is one of the biggest holidays in China and the entire Greater China region. This is a special holiday falls on the night of a full moon in the harvest time. Celebrations include night markets, street fairs and lots of great food and beverages. A staple of the Moon festival is the “Moon Cake.” This is a jacketed biscuit with a filling which is usually a sweet bean paste filling and traditionally an egg. Now — here comes a blueberry Moon Cake!
Here are some action shots from the recent ANUGA exhibition in Cologne Germany.
We have been watching this category closely for the past decade and not that much to get excited. We have seen blueberry vodkas without blueberries. You can always tell as the artificial products will compensate with glow in the dark blue color!
Now, from Australia — here is the real deal. Made with blueberry juice concentrate!
USHBC exhibited at the “World’s Fair” of food in Cologne Germany, October 10-15. Although this is a German exhibition, exhibitors from around the world attended and and exhibits were stacked in multi-floors of dozens of exhibition halls.
The US Blueberry exhibit was placed in the US Pavilion and our stand received heavy traffic throughout the 5-day show. Strong interest was shown in dehydrated blueberries from companies throughout the world. This is a new item in many parts of the world and a logical choice in places such as the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
This year we also had lots of visitors from throughout Europe looking for frozen blueberries for jam and jelly manufacturing.
Although there are many places on earth where blueberries are grown, North America is considered the one-stop shop for a whole range of blueberry ingredients including frozen, liquid, dried and others.
During the exposition, we had great meetings with several US Blueberry sellers as well as our friends from the BC Blueberry Council who were in a neighboring hall.
Of course we experienced our traditional Indian dinner where we toasted the progress in the European markets.
Blueberries and Chia seeds are hot! Now they are combined in a new Jam produced in Norway.
None of us heard of Greek Yogurt ten years ago. And now look at the developments! Here is another up and comer that will influence blueberries!
Skyr is an Icelandic yogurt specialty and now this sensation is spreading to other parts of Scandinavia. Will not be long before it reaches North America!
The natural food and nutraceutical industries in the USA are estimated to be more than $200 billion and growing! These special companies who produce functional foods source exotic ingredients from around the world and are always on the hunt for new and “the next big thing.”
Supply Side West is the exhibition where suppliers and sellers connect.
Uni-President, A Taiwan company, is the largest food processor in Asia. They also have large holdings in the USA. Check out their latest new product which is a consumer pack of dried blueberries. Great blueberry identification on the pack!
Blueberry ingredients are found in dozens of skin care products today. Some are big in blueberry image and small in blueberry use. Here is a unique item using a combination of co enzyme Q10 as well as botanical ingredients including blueberry. We will see more and more of these pairing of natural ingredients associated with skin care, health and beauty.