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!


Hawaiian Biscuits – Real Blueberries!

Congratulations to Diamond Bakery, Honolulu on the addition of Real Blueberries to their Hawaiian Biscuits.

Check out the ingredient statement: Dried Blueberries! Next time you are in the islands pick up a case! Thanks to Henry Torres and his staff at this 98 year old institution. Imua!

Check out Diamond Bakery at: https://www.diamondbakery.com/


Sampling Program Drives Colombian Product Innovation

Here is a great new development from our new blueberry-loving market Colombia. As you may remember, from past posts — USHBC began work in Colombia two years ago. Besides our new product contest, we delivered a load of dried blueberry samples for use in product research and development.   One in country distributor worked tirelessly to get samples in the hands of companies and link up with our technical support!   Bravo Colombia! Mucho Gusto!

This mixed nut snack uses lots of dried blueberries. Product research analyzed the compatibility of dried infused blueberries with grains and nuts! It worked and here it is!

More dried blueberries in Colombian-made granolas.

Superfruit mix from Maca. USA blueberries — Colombian made!

 

Gracias!  1. to Manitoba for pioneering new blueberry products!  2. To the USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service for funding our 2019 Quality Samples Program (QSP).  If you have ever worked on chocolate or yogurt panning you can attest that it takes a lot of samples, trial and error to get the formula and technique right!  3. To Columbians everywhere who have fallen in love with blueberries — fresh, frozen, dried, and all sorts!

 


Salute to the Local Blueberry Sellers in Japan

Here is the sourcing map for a large Japanese Trading company called Wismettac. Note that they have global sourcing activity.  Several of these companies including Inabata, Vox Trading, Shoei Foods and many others  service the food industries large and small. 

Wismettac Foods Japan features frozen fruit from around the world and has been a steady buyer from North America. Note the use of the Real Seal on their brochure and packs sold to foodservice and bakeries.

While working the Japan Bakery Expo last week, I met dozens of bakery and confectionery companies who currently use or want to use blueberries.  They need less than full-container loads (40-foot).  The trading companies serve a very important role in serving the food industry.

Here is a chart showing the volume of frozen blueberries into Japan. The Great Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami had great effect on the economy in general. The market for frozen blueberries is rising again with the help of importers, distributors and end users!

 

 


Vietnam Fresh Promotions Reach Provinces

Hoa Binh is a mountainous province in Northern Vietnam about 75 kilometers from the Capital city of Hanoi. The population of the regional capital of Hoa Binh is around 300,000.

July 25, 2019 was a big day for Hoa Binh,  1. Grand Opening of the first Vinmart Mega Mall in the Region.  2. Arrival of fresh USA blueberries!  Promotions continue at stores in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and expanding to cities all over this blueberry-loving country of 96 million!  Bring on the blueberries!

Welcome to Hoa Binh. This was a historic moment in the region and the excitement is building!

USA blueberries were the talk of the town!

Most have never seen fresh blueberries before. They tasted, they liked and purchased. And, will certainly tell their neighbors!

USA blueberries attracted a crowd! The store needed to limit items per customer!

Ladies come back for more!

Don’t worry more fresh blueberries are on the way!

 


Vietnam Fresh Blueberry Update

Week Two of USA Fresh Blueberry Sampling.

Meet your customer here at the Vinmart in Ho Chi Minh City.

Good news is — fresh blueberries are a huge hit and for second week — this chain is sold out quick.  Online sales are brisk.

Other store chains are now interested in promotions!

USA Fresh Blueberry Sampling. Meet your customer here at the Vinmart in Ho Chi Minh City. 

 

 

Here is how it works. USHBC sets up a decorated stand in the produce section of the market. We provide samples and also roam the store to reach more customers for their first taste of fresh blueberries!

Vietnam is a young country with most population in their 20s and below.

Meet our future customers!

Grocery shopping is a weekend family outing. Extremely hot outside and humid. Pop into the air conditioned Vinmart and try some fresh blueberries. Kids love it and of course mom is excited to see beautiful blueberries and buy two and get a “Beautiful Blueberries” beverage container!

Ok, Blueberry guy has been talking about how much the Vietnamese ladies appreciate blueberries. The guys are getting into the act as well!


Tokyo Bakery 2019

Real Blueberries are a hit at the Japan Bakery Expo.

Thanks to the USDA-FAS Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) for arranging!

Here is why bakers attend the show! Near our booth we see the celebrity bakers from Tokyo’s trendiest bakeries. We offer blueberries for the demos!

My favorite is the blueberry pizza!

The expo is a great opportunity to see what is hot in Japanese baking.

This bakery supplier from Okinawa (far south prefecture) uses the blue sweet potato for an enriched flour and blue color! We swapped blueberry powder for ube. Who knows!


Japan Bakery Promotions

For the fifth year, USHBC will participate in the Japan Bakery Expo called Patisserie and Baking Japan.

Here are the type of bakers we are reaching at the P & B! These are serious bakers, many trained in Europe and operating high end bake shops throughout Japan.  Many of the top bakers in Japan will be at the P & B competing in the Japan Bakery Grand Prix!

Here is our brochure years ago. It contains the basic blueberry items. It was well received and now bakers all over Japan!

Stay tuned — Blueberry guy will spend a week in Tokyo and will post some of the latest trendy blueberry products!

Here is a peek of one of my favorites! Cheese and blueberry bun!   おいしい  (yummy)

 

 

 


NaturalTech Brazil

This month our Latin America Food Engineer Katia Miura visited the NatualTech Exposition in Sao Paulo. Check out a whole new generation of healthy foods!

340 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors for this three day event!

Brazil, a nation of 200 million has transformed from a beans and beef culture to health conscious.  Natural food stores have popped up all over the country and health perceived ingredients such as jungle fruits, berries and natural herbs are integrated into food products.

Here are some interesting items from the expo.  These innovative products do not make it onto the MINTEL charts!