Blueberry Eyesight Japan

Two decades ago, we saw a surge in blueberry eyesight products in Japan.   The pioneer is Wakasa Seikatsu, which describes itself as a quality supplement company.  Their main item is “Blueberry Eyesight” and you will see their product in pharmacies, convenience stores and groceries.  You will also see the Blueberry Eyesight commercials on Japanese television around the clock.

Check out the Wakasa Seikatsu web page where you will see a whole collection of their clever commercials.

 

 


Real Blueberry Products for Schools

USHBC Food Tech works with food manufacturers to get Real Blueberries into products served in schools.   Some utilize frozen and dried blueberries from USDA Foods programs and others purchase blueberries from suppliers and packers.   Five years ago, a visit to the School Nutrition Association — we saw a few companies using blueberries here and there.   In 2017 at the recent meeting (July 9-12 in Atlanta, Georgia — dozens of new products were featured including Real Blueberry muffins, Real Blueberry granolas and bars and all sorts of beverages, frozen novelties and Real blueberries in a cup.

Manufacturers and school districts alike are optimistic about the use of frozen and dried blueberries in these products as they give districts an easy way to provide the goodness of blueberries to student meals and snacks.  USDA visitors surely took note of the popularity of blueberries in the schools.

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Here are just a few.

Real Blueberry Granolas with dried blueberries.
Real Blueberry Muffins
Real Blueberry beverages

The name IDDBA is a bit awkward — but the Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association exposition held in Anaheim June 4-6, 2017was one of the best connections for highbush blueberries to the food processing business.  This three-day show drew attendees from throughout North America — especially grocers, convenience store chains nd gourmet food operations.   What made this show important was the fellow exhibitors.  These included dairy, baking and snack companies of all sizes who were selling to the chains.  USHBC uses this gathering of food processors as a way to reach brand managers of companies who use real blueberries.  We meet the companies and discuss the real seal!

This was the debut of the USHBC Real Seal — a big hit! You will read more about this in future posts.

  • We met with more than 150 companies on the floor and discussed the Real Blueberries Seal
  • At out booth we sampled real fresh blueberries and again and again were complemented — as one of the few real foods on the floor.
  • A common comment from attendees: I have blueberries every morning to get my antioxidants!

Now we are following up with these companies and working to get the seal on the packs.
We also met a number of companies who have products which currently do not qualify.  These companies are now targets for technical assistance so we can help get the quantity of blueberries to optimal levels.

  • 9,000 attendees
  • 1900 booths!
Now the real work begins!  We are in contact with companies and working to land new Real Seal program participants.
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Team Blueberry & New Friend
Everyone loves real blueberries at IDDBA

Chinese Bakers and Suppliers Visit Blueberry Country

Bakers, distributors and importers from East China (Shanghai) visited blueberry country to learn about production, processing and utilization.  This was part of the USDA Cochran Fellowship which brings professionals to the USA for educational experiences.   This group visited the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) meeting and a stop in the Central Valley of California where they picked blueberries!  The group included a 150 bakery chain, a major importer and distributor of bakery ingredients, a master pastry chef who is well known in China and a director of baking operations at a leading store chain.  Now we have a set of new blueberry friends in China.

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Group photo. Now blueberry friends. Susan Zhang of USDA-FAS, Shanghai is on far right.
Visitors loved picking blueberries
Linden, California locals dropped in
Blueberry selfie time!
Next day we toured the top five trendy bakeries in San Francisco

Ingredient Solutions at Food Technologists Expo

USHBC exhibited at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo.   What’s hot!  Take a look.

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117 F in the shade!
Not much in food to be seen!
USHBC booth was like an oasis, with fresh blueberries served! A big hit!
This booth graphic says it all!
Beauty from within was everywhere!
Organics
Extracts
And let us not forget the pet foods

US Blueberries in Korean Foodservice Update

Koreans love to visit restaurants and coffee shops.  They love blueberries!  So what a logical place to promote blueberries to expand the marketplace.

Blueberry Hyewon shares some photos from the marketplace.  Seems that each month there are new developments.  And these developments continue to consume lots and lots of fresh, frozen and dried blueberries!

Blueberries and Chocolates!  Koreans love them both and a new trend is for sales of high quality locally made chocolate covered blueberries at major coffee chains.  Note the s in chains — they are everywhere!

Blueberries and Beverages.   Grab a cup of blueberries on the way to work.   These creative drinks continue at some of the leading foodservice operations.

Spider-Man is making a splash this summer in Korea — the biggest thing since Robo-cop 1 and 2. Check out the blueberry ice cream.

The yogurt drink category is booming and with the steamy summers in Korea — this is a way to get some antioxidants!


US Fresh Blueberries in Hong Kong

Hong Kongers love fresh fruit in the summer and the arrival of fresh blueberries is a big deal in local supermarkets and bakeries.  Blueberry Heidi takes us for a tour of her local supermarkets!

Everyone takes the MRT subway in HK.  Shopping centers and stores are all attached.  Look at the Maxim’s bakery ads on the trains serving all the lines!  Maxims is a big supporter of blueberries in hundreds of outlets around HK and Asia.   Once the fresh blueberries arrive they promote dozens of blueberry baked goods.  Off season — they switch to frozen and dried!

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Hold onto your mascot fan and check out the many fresh blueberries in the market!