Last year we showed the small 125 gram (4.4 ounces) frozen blueberry packs sold in convenience stores in Japan. Now, here is the 77.5 gram (2.7 ounces) I watched as office workers purchased the dried packs to snack on at the desk. Blueberries are still associated with good eyesight and eyestrain relief. Now it is interesting to see young lady office workers snapping up the dried blueberries which are more and more associated with beauty and skin care.
Japan has always been a fresh and frozen market for blueberries. Now take a look at the rise in dried highbush blueberries from the USA!
Here is the deal:
- 1,481,000 kg of dried blueberries exported from the USA to Japan in 2016.
- This converts to 3.26 million lbs.
- Multiply this by the 3.5 lbs needed to make one lb. of dried blueberries = 8.15 million lbs of blueberries utilized!
Beauty – Confectionery and Totally new products are leading the way in 2017!
Beauty. Grocery and convenience stores market dried blueberries in health and beauty sections along side slimming and products with health and beauty association. (Beauty from Within)
Confectionery. On the food industry side, Japanese companies are integrating dried blueberries into confectionery (panned blueberries) ice creams and traditional Japanese confectionery (wagashi).
Hong Kong has always been a great market for fresh US blueberries. Now, Hong-Kongers are turned on to dried blueberries. Check out the recent dried blueberry promotion at Manning’s — a large variety store chain. Now — that’s a lot of blueberries being sold in a drug store!
More and more stores are featuring dried blueberries including grocery stores, pharmacies and even traditional Chinese medicine stores. USHBC HK rep Heidi Chui is always on the lookout for promotions and works with manufacturers and importers alike.
Hong Kong consumers are turning to dried blueberries as a snack and gifting item during festivals. Some may end up in Mainland China but a lot is staying in the territory of 7.3 million. In 2016 1,4 million kg were shipped to Hong Kong. That’s 3.2 million lbs. When you factor that it takes 3.5 lbs of frozen blueberries to create each lb of dried blueberries — this brings the HK total to: 8 million lbs of US blueberries flowing to HK in this channel!
Hong Kongers love fresh-fresh blueberries and this is the next best thing.
Dried blueberries are associated with beauty and skin care and are often sold in pharmacies near imported cosmetics and skin care products.
Dried blueberries are becoming a “gifting” staple for the many Cantonese festivals where gift exchange is custom. (Moon Festival, Spring Festival, Sweeping day etc.)
We had a nice visit with the Japan Blueberry Association. They do great work to raise awareness of the health benefits of blueberries.
USHBC returns to the premiere food tech exposition in Japan – International Food Ingredients and Additives — also known as IFIA. (May 24-26, 2017 at Tokyo Big Site) This is a show similar to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) back in the USA. Exhibitors are “ingredient solution” suppliers such as powders, purees, liquids and concentrates. The attendees are some of the leading food manufacturing companies from Japan and all over Asia.
This product says it all — Beauty & Healthy.
The product is sold in convenience stores throughout Japan and includes beauty-associated ingredients like collagen.
The blueberry beauty craze has spread all over Asia. Note the number of new blueberry-containing beauty products in the Philippines. The concept– blueberry extract on the ingredient statement and lots of blueberry identity on the package!
What a difference a year makes.
USHBC exhibited at the SIAL China exposition in Shanghai and found a blueberry hungry food industry.
- Dried blueberries are the market star with sugar infused product sold in stores and online malls as well as through the huge dried fruit trade.
- Dairy customers lined up to talk purees, puree concentrates and juice.
- China is a fruit juice consuming country and consumers love 100 percent blueberry juice made from concentrate.
- Frozen blueberries are demand mainly for production of sauces and fillings. These products are essential for further ingredient use in baking, snacks and confectionery.
Here are some action shots at the Sial China!
Koreans love spicy foods. Now, USHBC presents a whole line of savory blueberry sauces at the recent Seoulfoods Exhibition which was held May 16-19, 2017 in Ilsan.
Our in-country food technologist Sunyong Lee wowed the food industry visitors with a collection of barbeque sauces, chili sauces, blueberry ketchups and others. The star of the show was pickled blueberries — a real hit!
Here is a photo of booth action with Sunyong meeting the attendees and talking blueberries.
Taiwan has been a wonderful fresh market for fresh US blueberries for the past two decades with lots of fresh and foodservice promotions. Now, the processed blueberry side is on the rise.
Blueberry Mandy visited the recent Taipei International Bakery Show and met with suppliers and bakers.
Blueberries were everywhere!
Welcome to Mega-Market Ho Chi Minh City, a Thai owned company which was formerly Metro Cash and Carry. This is the large western goods store where small markets, restaurants and foodservice come to for supply!
The former Saigon is a river city and Mega Market is located in a new suburban area near a big “dragon” bend in the river! Very good luck!
Here Pham The Hoang Vy, (middle) Category Manager for MM Megamarket (Vietnam) Limited greets US visitors. On the left is Gerald Smith, Senior Attaché at the US Consulate, Ho Chi Minh City. (I cannot imagine how he could spend the entire week in suit and tie).
First a look at the dry goods.
Now for a quick exit from the store and a dash back top the exposition center! Check out the taxicab.
Pretty much a recipe for success in Vietnam: