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!

 

 


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)

 

 

 


Real Dried Blueberries – India

USHBC work in the India market has driven tens of new consumer-packed dried blueberries to Market! What’s next — Companies like Gourmania are proudly displaying the Blueberry Real Seal on pack.

We remember back in 2010 when Indian importers told us we would never sell dried blueberries to India due to the high price! In 2018 value soared above $1 million. We are ahead of the pace in 2019!


Vietnam Fresh Blueberry Promotions

Welcome to our Fresh Blueberry promotion at Vinmart Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Note the “Beautiful Blueberry” imaging and posters decorating the store. Notice the spiffy “Blueberry Uniforms” worn by all — including the “Blueberry Guy!”

 

The concept is pretty simple. Attract attention of the shoppers and give them their first taste of real fresh blueberries!

Vietnam is a young country and our promotion drew the next generation of blueberry lovers.

Stay tuned for more excitement in the ongoing fresh blueberry promotion!

 

 


India Bakery Exposition – Chennai

Bakery Expo was a big event this year for USHBC FoodTech activity in India.  This year, nine (9) importers and distributors attended and shared space at this annual event.  Bakers from throughout India visited the booth and of course ask: “Where can you buy USA blueberries.”  Well, step right up.

The booth was specially constructed to provide exposition space for suppliers along with a common area.

The whole sales cycle was completed and a the USA blueberry suppliers were very thankful for the opportunity to participate.

Above: here is the group of USA blueberry suppliers at the show.

Below: Meet the “Big Boss” from the Tamilnadu Bakers Association.

Below: Brisk Traffic at the USA Blueberry booth


Asian Breakfast Cereals with Dried Blueberries

Breakfast Cereals with blueberries are on the rise in Asia.

 

Carregando...
Thai consumers love the color blue! First with Ice creams and now cereals!
Here is a newly launched cereal from Kellogg's in Japan which touts 1/2 weight of the total is dried fruit! Half of the dried fruit is blueberry!
Notice the amount of detailed health information listed on the pack including charts, graphs and other information on digestion and gut health.
The cereal health trend has spread to China as well. Imported products such as Quaker are transitioning to local production. Dried blueberries and almonds are recognized healthy ingredients.
The cereal box is interesting reading with lots of detail on specific ingredients and dietary benefits.
Here is a new one called Crunchy Monkey! Lots of dried blueberries!

Culinary Education in Vietnam

With the boom in the hotel and restaurant business in Southeast Asia, skilled chefs, baristas and bartenders are in demand.  This month USHBC worked with a local culinary school in Ho Chi Minh City to sponsor and provide ingredients for a weekend bartender camp and competition.

Frozen blueberries from the USA are now available to hotels and restaurants all over Vietnam. Here a future professional bartender concocts a creative blueberry cocktail!

Belly up to the bar and check out this exciting event.  Some ultra-creative blueberry uses.  These new blueberry converts will be in the workplace soon!

Of course, a blueberry volcano!

Selfie time with a blueberry mojito!

A blueberry and basil treat

A gin fizz with blueberries and floral décor

 

Of course, our FoodTech Hana is busy working the crowd including this VIP from the press!

Carregando...
And the winner is..
Mr. Mohito!

Wintertime Frozen Promotion – Taiwan!

 

Frozen polbag blueberries are promoted all over Taiwan this month at many of the 86 Carrefour stores, The frozen sales had some unexpected challenges this year and our FoodTech Mandy and her team stepped in to re-charge the store and customer interest!

 

Many are amazed to see how easy it is to make a smoothie at home!

 

Promoters lead the shoppers to the frozen case where they can buy all of the ingredients to make smoothies.


Good Morning Vietnam! Say Cheese & Coffee

Cheese & Coffee is a trendsetting coffee chain located in the major cities of Vietnam.  Vietnamese are passionate about good coffee, cheese and now — blueberries!  (Note the construction crane on the upper left corner of this photo taken in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)  They are everywhere!

 

Chilled coffee drinks with frozen blueberry is the draw!   Our super-charged Food Tech Hana provided 1 kg bags of frozen IQF blueberries as part of a USDA funded Quality Samples Program (QSP).  Cheese and Coffee research chefs developed a whole line of blueberry products including blueberry cheesecake, smoothies and Hana’s favorite: “Chocoberry”.  Trials led to production and that led to a new product category in Vietnam that is on the rise.

Hana’s favorite!

Take a number! A Crowd lines up early to get a coffee & blueberry fix!

The excitement is building!  Note the Winter Cocoberry promotion poster!  The new line is especially popular with the young Vietnamese Café culture.   Winter time is still warm weather in Southern part of Vietnam and rainy too.  A refreshing chilled beverage is a must! Hana is getting calls from other chains, hotels and restaurants who want to try frozen blueberries!

 

Congratulations to Team Blueberry Vietnam!  Also, thanks to the USDA-Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) for funding the initial frozen container of blueberries.  This has primed the pump and importers are following up with commercial orders to chase the demand!

 


Disneyworld Christmas Promotion – Shanghai

December 15, 2018- Shanghai Disney kicks off American Christmas Tradition with USDA-ATO sponsored event at Disney-Town!

The staff at the USDA-FAS Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) is always looking for ways to promote US products such as blueberries.  Shanghai Disney collaborated with ATO to create a Christmas event to spotlight the American home baking tradition.  Above Ryan Scott with special guest and Chef Moma a local celebrity chef start things off at the Disney Resort!  The event was attended by invited families from the Shanghai area as well as visitors to the Magic Kingdom East!

First, visitors walked the USDA display area and tasted bakery ingredients such as almonds, raisins and of course dried blueberries which are available online from T-Mall!

Bakery suppliers from the region attended and we were able to increase our network of local suppliers.  Julia Zhu from Beijing and Mandy Chen tag-teamed this event and made some excellent contacts!

Ryan Scott, the ATO as you can see had a great time at the event and all were pleased that USHBC participated in this event.  The value of participating in a Disney-Sponsored event is huge!

Julia reported that blueberries were the most popular item at the event.

After a seminar by Chef Moma the kids got a chance to decorate with USA ingredients!

This young princess told her mom that they must enjoy the magic of blueberries at home!   Just scan the QR code and We Chat will make your wish come true!


Christmas in Manila!

It’s gift-giving season in the Philippines!

 

 

This year more and more USA blueberries are on the list of must haves.

 

Stores bundle collections of imported goods.  These baskets contain bags of dried blueberries.

 

The Philippines hosts a whole slew of local favorites including snacks and sweets.

 

There is always a new item on the market and this year it is chocolate-coated blueberries!
Here is the latest trend — gifts for the pets!

Vietnam USA Product Showcase

Welcome to the USA Foods Showcase sponsored by the US Embassy Hanoi at the Melia Hotel, Hanoi, November 28, 2018. 

Thank you to the US Embassy in Hanoi and the ongoing support from the USDA-FAS and APHIS staff in Vietnam!   They are always looking out for blueberries.  The excitement continues.

USA Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink visits the USA pavilion of the Food & Hotel Exposition held November 27-30, 2018.  He spent time visiting with Team Blueberry and was well versed in the great progress that USHBC has made in Vietnam in the past year.

 

Hana samples mini blueberry cakes from a popular Hanoi bakery! We also passed out dried and frozen blueberries which were a big hit!


Food & Hotel Hanoi

Welcome to Food & Hotel Hanoi.

This is the first major food exposition held in the Capitol City of Hanoi and it is a big deal.

Opening day at the Food & Hotel Hanoi Exposition will run November 28-30, 2018.

As you can see from the photo — frozen blueberries from the USA are a big hit!  Our mighty FoodTech Hana is working the booth and blueberries were the buzz!