Happy Birthday Highbush Blueberries!
The above post card was produced by Padilla CRT, which is the ad agency of the US Highbush Blueberry Council, The fruit box label says it all:
B = Shows the Native American/First Nation's heritage of the blueberry. Let us remember that the early North Americans were well familiar of he health benefits of this magical "star fruit." They dried the blueberries, and prescribed consumption for health and well being.
L = Shows the collaboration of Elizabeth White and Frederick Coville. Many had tried to cultivate the forest berry in the past and together they cracked the code. Ironically -- the original plot for Coville's lab is on the site of the present day US Armed Forces Pentagon! The collaboration of the US blueberry growers and the USDA remains strong today and is the foundation of the USHBC which is a USDA Federal Research and Promotion Order
U = Shows the first commercial crop . It was a big development for agriculture in the USA and some of the descendents with ties to Elizabeth's True Blue Coop are still in the business.
E = Shows the scale up of the blueberry business which went from hand picked local businesses to mechanical harvesting and processing and further processing such as freezing and dehydration.
B = Shows the discovery and appreciation of the health benefits of blueberries which launched the industry in the 1980s. The USHBC came along in 2000 and has been validating these benefits and discovering new!
E = Shows the great leap forward of North American production at the turn of the century (2000). We have quadrupled production in just two decades to keep up with demand and the future looks bright.
R = Shows the "Little Blue Dynamos" positioning that was developed by USHBC to distill all that is good about bluberries!
R = Shows the boom in foodservice and food processing use of blueberries including frozen, dried, liquid and others. More than a thousand new blueberry containing products are developed in the USA each year!
I = Is a salute to our new customers. Blueberry per-capita consumption has doubled in recent years and this includes use by more and more new customers -- especially the young who are discovering blueberries.
E = Salutes innovation of blueberry use in more and more ways. Today, smoothies are hot, and each year more and more new categories for blueberry use succeed including pet foods, natural cosmetics and who knows what next!
S = Shows blueberry use in foreign markets. US blueberries are shipped in all forms to more than 75 countries abroad. Last year more than 77 million lbs!
Elizabeth would be proud!