Boots on the Ground in Taiwan!

Mandy may not wear army boots, but she definitely is our “boots on the ground” in Taiwan. Being a local, she knows the trade, but companies and stores. When there is a opportunity for promotion with the Local USDA office– she is ready.

ROC! The Republic of China. What makes it so special.
>Taiwan is an American friendly country and a close friend.
>For the past decades, Taiwan was one of the first offshore markets to blossom. USHBC approached the island in in the 1990s and introduced fresh “Lan Mei!”
>Although small, Taiwan is an important trendsetter in “Greater China.” That is the countries in Asia where “overseas Chinese run the business. (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia).
>Taiwan has developed into one of our top markets — first for fresh blueberries and now processed.

Taiwan is a great market and has toom to grow too! But, ask any shipper– they will tell you that it is tricky due to some very restrictive MRLs.

In the past four years, Mandy has received the panic call from blueberry customers who need help. All of us know you got to kep the stores stocked. Mandy has worked with importers and stores to get fresh and frozen promotions running quickly. See this winter promotion with smoothies for frozen blueberries!

Here is an example where Mandy arranged for a video by Doc Blueberry which was accessible on a QR code in supermarket chains. Consumers concerned about food safety got the straight scoop from Dr Wei Yang of Oregon State University.  Retailers loved it and started to stock up on blueberries!

Mandy keeps very busy. Each month she visits manufacturers, retailers, and conducts events including trade shows, seminars and events. She keeps close ties with the USDA-Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) and is the go-to person for any industry visitors to Taiwan.  Here she attends USDA reception with the Vice President of the ROC attending.

 


What’s Ap with Raj Kapoor

This year I have spent a lot of time with or India/Middle East FoodTech Raj Kapoor. At trade shows, seminars, Indian dinners — he is continually on his I phone typing away! The screen shot above is the world of Raj Kapoor where he is the center of the blueberry universe in India and a continual stream of communications, contacts, questions, answers and victories!

Here is the front line of Raj’s blueberry legion. They are all representatives of Indian companies who now regularly import, dried, frozen, liquid and other forms of blueberries to India. Raj hailed them to the Bakery Expo in Chennai where they worked the crowd and expanded their customer base. Each customer was added to Raj’s What’s Ap list!

This year Raj had eleven partner companies at the Bakery Expo in Chennai. He is adding new blueberry companies daily and now ,moving into new regions including the South. Raj never sleeps, he just keeps pecking away at his I phone and blueberries continue to progress.

When we started work in India ten years ago, we had no contacts, no customers, no suppliers and little interest. We were told by prominent dried fruit and nut importers that dried blueberries were an impossible item in India. Raj’s contacts gave it a try, succeeded and disproved the skeptics. Look at the statistics taken from the USDA Economic Research Service Fruit and Treenut Statistics web. Wow–over $1 million in US blueberries were shipped to India in 2018. Already in 2019 there have been almost $1 million in USA dried blueberry imports into India and this includes date up to August 2019!

The lesson learned — a combination of social media, food science and hard work makes the market move!  If you are on What’s Ap, send a message to Raj!  He is waiting!


Super Korean FoodTech In Action

You may ask — what is Sunyong Lee up to in Korea? Glad you asked: We challenged our Korean Food Technologist to find new uses for blueberries in the Korean market. And he is really going at it. Above he meets with the director of a company called “Baby Yo” who produce home meal replacements (HMR) Koreans rarely cook at home an rely on prepared items from stores and often convenience stores. They are always looking for new ideas and Sunyong has the answer: Blueberries!  BTW: That is Sunyong on the left!

Meat is King in Korea. Here Sunyong meets with the research director of Foodsmith a prepared meat producer. He loved the blueberry Bi-Bim Bap sauce conceopt developed by Sunyong.

Sunyong is an expert in dairy flavors and has worked all over Asia. In fact, he was the first to develop a blueberry novelty years ago. Here he checks in at a leading dairy ingredient supplier who uses blueberry puree and puree concentrate. Still lots of potential in this usage category!

 

Despite all consumer trends towards health and beauty — Koreans are still gobbling up donuts! Here Sunyong explains procedures for adding blueberry flakes and powders into this “American style” favorite! Papa liked it!

What do young Koreans do after work! Chicken and beer is now the rage. Well, Sunyong tweaked his Bi Bim Bap sauce with some extra chili kick and it is a hit. Get this company name: ChiMcKing!

 

The nice thing about getting a food science degree from Seoul University is that you always have alumni to visit at the top companies. Here is a new friend from the top cosmetic company in Korea. Natural blueberry extract is now used in a variety of new and improved cosmetics for women and yes–men!

 

As of October 15 we see new products developed in new categories such as sauces, meats and even natural cosmetics. Sunyong is making a difference!


USA Blueberries at ANUGA

Anuga is the largest food exposition in the world. It runs every other year and held in Cologne, Germany. There are 13 halls all with two levels! USHBC has participated in ANUGA since 2000 and it is our opportunity connect with food professionals from throughout the world.

Wow! 170,000 visitors. According to the organizer, around 90 % are from outside of Germany!  USHBC made more than 250 great contacts and  we have been busy following up, answering questions and making connections.

 

Here is our booth! Kari, who is originally from California and lives in Cologne helped us for the last ten ANUGAs. She is an expert at hunting down blueberry items at this huge exposition! Note the Vietnamese poster, which drew a lot of attention!

Here is a great example of blueberry product innovation from the United Kingdom Pavilion. Uses a lot of blueberry in a sharp cheddar cheese!

Here is a new concept, dried fruit including blueberries with infused probiotics!  Attracted a lot of attention!

ANUGA is an excellent venue to tour the world food industry. I visited all of the Six Russian pavillions!

 

What’s hot in Europe! Dried blueberries as snacks!  Love the mascots!

Despite a duty of more than 16%, sales of dried highbush blueberries to Europe continues to grow!  Note the statistics above are from the USDA ERS (Economic Research Service) Fruit and Treenuts Database which is available online.  ERS receives Trade (import and export) data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau.


Hana and Bell Excellent Adventure

690 miles, two states and six Vietnamese restaurants! Hana, our Vietnam FoodTech helped tour Ms. Bell Dong from Dan On Foods around the Pacific Northwest. They visited blueberry farms, a dried blueberry factory and attended the USHBC meeting in Richland, Washington! Dan On Foods is a customer of dried blueberries and produces snack foods in Vietnam which is distributed all over Southeast Asia and China!  Here they are in Seattle at Pho #6!

Pho Hung Restaurant in Portland was voted top Pho of all six restaurants sampled on the “Excellent Adventure.” Really authentic according to Hana and Bell

Just when you thought it was safe…
This rest stop photo is sure to end up in Facebook posts all over Vietnam.

Welcome back Hana and Bell!