Watson’s Beauty Buffet – Taiwan

Beauty sells in Asia! Here is the latest concept from A.S. Watson’s Pharmacies in Asia. Welcome to the “Beauty Buffet.” The product combines ingredients such as yogurt castor oil and of course — blueberry extract. This product is made in Taiwan by A.S. Watsons group which operates 7,200 stores and 1,500 pharmacies throughout Asia.

 

 

The weekly menu. Note the “Made in Taiwan” information.

 

Here is the “take away menu!”


Blueberry Chocolate Nirvana

The average American consumes almost 10 lbs. of chocolate per year. The “Bluenberry Guy” may consume that much in a month! My all time favorite you ask: Check out the Dark Chocolate Blueberry  from Marich Confectionery in Hollister, California. First, you start with sweetened-dried highbush blueberries.  Visit me at one of the upcoming FoodTech expositions posted on the page and try!  www.marich.com   This is my personal favorite and a great example of the use of blueberry powder as a natural color and flavor!

Here is a good look at the Dark Chocolate blueberries. Interior is a soft sweet dried blueberry coated with a dark chocolate. The exterior is a thin white layer of white chocolate which is infused with blueberry powder to give the color and intense blueberry flavor!


Salute to Trinidad & Tobago

Many of you Blueberry Guy fans have heard me rave about my favorite blueberry-loving place on earth–next to Iceland of course. Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago.

T & T, an island nation of more than 1.6 million on the far south reaches of the Caribbean — besides amazing natural resources and the largest tar pit in the world — is famous for two things: Lord Kitchener (above) and Trini Fruit Cakes!

Fruitcakes–you either love ’em or hate em. In the world of Trinidad they are loved! Here is a home example photo from a Washington Post article. It contain seven types of dried fruits and traditionally have used glace cherries, dried prunes, raisins, currents and whatever is available. I calculated 2 times the weight of dried fruit compared to flour weight! Several years ago, the Blueberry guy received a telex from Trinidad for information on dried blueberries. And, my T & T saga began!

 

 

 

Now here is where it gets interesting. Blueberry guy attends the Bakery Expo in Las Vegas in 2012 and our good friends at Food Export Midwest, arranged a meeting for me with a group of bakers and importers from Trinidad! The above chart shows the dollar value imports of USA blueberries to the island nation. Data is from US Customs. You are probably asking what is Not Specified. This could be blueberries, or other fruits. But, the encouraging thing is the continued use of blueberries in Trinidad! The nation has a well-developed food industry and is a hub of intra-Caribbean basin trade.

 

“Big Guys on Small Islands” make things happen– as Blueberry Guy often says. Here is the owner of Kiss Bakery in Trinidad which is the leader for breads, pastries, sweets and the all-important birthday cake. Visit the Kiss Bakery Website: http://kissbaking.com/

 

Check out the different blueberry options. Blueberry Guy is hoping to meet up with the Trinidad delegation at the upcoming International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in Las Vegas, September 8-12!

 

 


Glacé Blueberries!

Glacé  Blueberries — Why not! The nice thing about attending regional IFT meetings is finding unique new blueberry ingredients. Glacé fruit is an ancient food preservation technique. Simply put, fruit is placed in a heated sugar syrup which absorbs moisture and preserves once the moisture gets to a certain level.  (The product is not dehydrated with air or other processes.  The result is the  glacé fruit you see each holiday season in fruit cakes and more!

Where can these be used.  My first guess was of course — fruitcakes.  I checked the MINTEL Global New Products Database (GNPD).  I found 150 fruit cakes and about half in North America.   Almost all include glace cherries.  No blueberries to be found.  Except for our friends in Trinidad and Tobago who produce a wonderful product with dried blueberries.

 

To a pastry chef the plump glace blueberry can be used as a cake decorating or topping.  This may a bit far out, but glace blueberries could be used in bar drinks as a garnish like maraschino.

So far, I have found two suppliers in North America.  If you are interested send blueberry guy a note and I will point you in the right direction:

tpayne@blueberrytech.org

 

 

 

 

 


Myanmar Blueberry Bakery Training Seminars

Oh Myanmar! It all started with a chance meeting in New Orleans with a visiting group of Myanmar Bakers led by Pan Myat Phyu, Marketing Specialist for the USDA-FAS Yangon. Since then USA Blueberries and Myanmar have developed a great exchange of friendship and blueberry innovation! Here is our good friend Than Zaw Oo @ Aghee National Master Trainer of the Myanmar International Bakery & Pastry Center.

Here professional bakers learn how to use USA dried and frozen blueberries into delicious high value and unique bakery items. The dried blueberries were kindly supplied by Queen Foods, Vietnam and frozen by TMT Trading, Vietnam who have both been very cooperative getting working samples to Myanmar bakeries. Thank you Winnie at Queen Foods and Ms. Linh at TMT Trading!

Here are the finished products. Note the local flower supplier involved which is an essential link to bakeries as they deliver ingredients day to day. Master Chef A Ghee provided formulas and guidance. Look at the finished product packages prepared to show off the blueberry products!

This is the third wonderful activity we have conducted with the International Bakery and Pastry Institute of Myanmar. We look forward to many more opportunities!


Blueberries to Kerala

Kerala is a state on the Southwest Malabar Coast of India. Population: 33 million, highest literacy rate in all of India at 97%. Besides spicy food — Kerala has a reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship. Famous Lu Lu Supermarket brand started in Kerala and now is all over the Gulf, Southeast Asia and North Africa. Kerala’s 10,000 bakeries are a good example of this spirit of innovation! This month they come together to learn about blueberries at their annual Indian Bakery Federation meeting.

Just in case you are in South India on August 18–here is the detail on the bakery meeting and seminar. About 500 bakery owners are expected. Our India FoodTech Raj Kapoor will present blueberries in bakery products and show bakery innovation with blueberries.

Here is an example of Indian-blueberry innovation. We developed a collection of blueberry bakery formulas with a famous pastry chef in Delhi. Check out this blueberry-bursting brioche!

Now you may ask what happens when these 500 bakers are converted to blueberry-lovers! A few years ago they would talk to their supplier who possibly could deliver a jar of blueberry preserves from Europe. Now–it’s Blueberry time! These ladies and gentlemen are representatives of Indian companies who import, produce and supply U.S. blueberry bakery ingredients! This photo is from our cooperative effort at India Bakery Expo 2019 in Chennai! These same companies are targeting the Kerala bakery industry and ready to supply!  (by the way — that is the ever-popular Raj Kapoor on the far left!)

Thanks to our partners for driving sales of US blueberries to more than $1 million USD in 2018! 2019 looks very good!