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!


Korean Polybag Gets Real!

Check out the redesign of the Wooyang blueberry polybag in South Korea! Wooyang identified their USA product with the Real Seal! Welcome to the club! Wooyang is a loyal USA blueberry customer and appreciates the high-brix, soft skinned product from America.


Fresh, Frozen, Dried Blueberries in Taichung

Welcome to “Fresh” Supermarket in Taichung, Taiwan (Central Region). The California Agriculture Export Council (CAEC) and the USDA-ATO in Taiwan organized this great retail promotion during September. Our Taiwan FoodTech organized blueberry products for the event including fresh, frozen and dried blueberries.  Check out those cool USA vests!

 

The whole concept brings together USA blueberries and blueberry products. Here is our friend Fred Klose from CAEC kicking off the event.  Check out the flashy point of sales materials leading customers to the blueberries and other USA fruits.

 

Here is the poster at point of sale. Blueberries were also included in the store flyer.

The store has an in house bakery and they produced blueberry products for the promotion.

Lots of media and press coverage!

Thanks to the California Agricultural Export Council for the opportunity to participate!

 


USA Blueberries a hit at Mexico FoodTech Summit!

USA Blueberries were the talk of the Mexico Food Tech Summit. Food processors from all over Latin America lined up to connect to blueberry ingredients.

This is a trade only exposition ingredient companies from all over the world exhibit.

 

What’s Hot? Natural colors and flavors. Ingredients like dried blueberries, powders, puree and concentrates were in demand.

 

The Blueberry Guy held office at the booth and more than 200 really great contacts were made including companies looking for frozen blueberries.

 

Now it is time to get to work and foillowup! See you next year in Mexico City!


Limonada de Bueberry-Mexico City

Now here is a really great blueberry beverage served at the Vapiano Italian restaurant chain in Mexico City.  This bartender-inspired drink includes a generous addition of real blueberries! Also, uses the name: “blueberries.”

 

Here is another reason to like the Limonada de blueberry.  Note the value-added price compared to the limonada without blueberry!

 


Food Tech Summit Mexico

Yesterday was set-up day! With expositions in foreign countries we bring our own booth materials and carefully craft an attractive and welcoming booth. What do you think?


Mexico Food Tech Summit 2019

Bienvenidos from Mexico City and the annual Food Tech Summit. This week food processors and suppliers from all over the United States of Mexico (the proper name of our neighbor country) gather at the Centro Banamex in the Capital city. This is our fourth year participation!

The expo runs from September 25-26

I just walked the show in advance of the opening:

Companies are featuring blueberries in artwork on booths.  The term “blueberries” is used!

Bluebnerry powders, juices, purees and concentrates are offered by ingredient companies.

Natural cosmetics, beauty, beauty-from-within are the buzz words!

For the first time I see pet foods and pet friendly ingredients offered.

Wil keep you posted.

Good morning from Mexico City!

 

 

 


Blueberry Seminars China -2019

USHBC FoodTech Julia Zhu presents highbush blueberries to health professionals as well as importers and distributors at seminars held September 15-20, 2019 in: Changsha (Hunan Province), Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province) and Nanjing (Jiangsu Province).

 

These three “Second-Tier” cities are some of the largest population centers of China and are some of the fastest developing regions in the country of 1.3 billion. Few cooperator promotions reach these regions and the seminars had great impact.

 

Attendees included key opinion influencers in the health field such as nutritionists, journalists and educators. At same time, importers, distributors and manufacturers attended. They saw the great interest and connected with USA blueberries.

 

Julia field questions from the audience. Many just wanted to know where they could purchase real blueberries. With the popularity of blueberries in China — fakes are present!

This was a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with importers and distributors.

The audience sampled healthy salads made with blueberries!

Many thanks to Dr. Amy Howell PhD. of Rutgers University who helped Julia with the health part of the presentation!

Results!   USA products such as blueberries face lots of challenges in the China market.  We continue to work to raise the awareness and interest in Real Blueberries all over China.  Importers, distributors thanked the US visitors for not-abandoning the market and for helping to educate the public.

 


Vietnam Plant Protection Division Site Visits

A part of the agreement that allows fresh blueberries from the USA into Vietnam, officials of the Vietnam Plant Protection Division visit packing plants and farms at the end of the season to see that the protocols are followed.  The group visited the week of September 11-14, 2019.  

 

Four Days, 456 miles, and five site visits! TJP worked with USDA-APHIS and the Oregon Blueberry Commission, and Oregon Department of Agriculture on the recent Vietnam Site Visits by the Bureau of Plant Protection PPD from Vietnam. Thanks to the Oregon Packers who opened their farms and factories for the three day visit. The visiting officials were most impressed with all of the facilities and the commitment made to the Vietnam market protocols. They are especially proud to see the work pay off with shipments of fresh USA blueberries reaching all over Vietnam!

Here are some action photos:

Very important opening meeting with Judy Macias and Director General of PPD discussing the upcoming site visits.  Note Diep, the super translator and former MSU Spartan making things go smooth!

Visits to packing plants

In the field. Still some tasty berries!

Ellie Norris wows the visitors with the Vietnam Record Books! Great work by all!

04:00 am September 14 and the crew loads up the van to head to PDX for return light to Hanoi!
Mission Accomplished!

 


International Baking Industry Exposition

It happens every four years! The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE). What draws commercial bakers from throughout the world? Besides a big week in Vegas, you have the latest and greatest bakery equipment on display. USHBC hosts a strategically located booth and bingo! You have access to bakers from throughout the world!

What do bakers want:  Formulas and new Ideas!

Here is an example of the products developed by Chef Bobby from New Jersey — the Garden State. These are bakery tested examples of optimal use of blueberries! Foreign visitors especially liked the display!

We met hundreds of bakers from North America and abroad!   Let us watch as these concept start to appear all over the world!

Viva IBIE.  See you in four years!