Food Ingredients South America – 2019

USHBC Food Engineer Katia Miura says “Bem Vindo” to FISA Sao Paulo!

First time USHBC exhibited at the Food Ingredients South America Exposition (FISA) it was a bit lonely at the blueberry booth.  This is the largest gathering of food processors in the Southern Hemisphere.  We spent a lot of time explaining that a blueberry is a real berry compared to the purple palm kernel that is popular for making Acai pulp!  This year, it was “Take a number” at the blueberry booth.  We made more than 150 great contacts and leads.   You may say — don’t they purchase their blueberry supplies from South American producers.  Sure, they do.  But, for the attendees of FISA, a blueberry is an ingredient.  It must match exact formats and specifications.

USHBC was the center of attention!

What’s hot!

Frozen blueberries are in demand.  Not just any frozen blueberries, but the type we grow in North America with high brix and soft skins.  They are perfect for making jams and jellies and sauces.  Brazil is a leading sugar producing country and consumers like sweet foods!  Our Latin America Rep, Katia Miura produced prototypes of chocolates with sweet blueberry fillings.  Really sweet and flavorful and demonstrated the desirable characteristics of US frozen  blueberries!

Really delicious Brazilian style confectionery with dried blueberries and powder!

Ingredient Solutions.   Check out any Brazilian store and you will find rows of foil pouches of health mixes.  These include chia, flaxseed, quinoa and aloe.  Mix them up for a healthy start to the day.  Blueberry flakes and powders are in demand for these concoctions and the market continues to grow.  Another area of growth is in pet foods–Brazilian companies want real 100 percent pure powders.

Blueberry powders are included in dozens of products including this “beauty from within” beverage mic.

Dried Blueberries.  Sweetened dried blueberries are sought for snack mixes, cereals bars and confectionery.  The sweeter the better.

Dried blueberries in American-style pancake mix.

See you next year in Sao Paulo!

 

 

 

 


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!

 

 


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!

 


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!

 

 

 


Viva Costa Rica

We all know Costa Rica is a paradise!  Now this nation of 5 million is becoming an important regional food manufacturing hub.  This year Costa Rican companies imported a half million USD worth of dried, fresh and frozen USA blueberries!   June 11-13 — USHBC initiated FoodTech activities in Costa Rica with attendance at the Expohore food and hotel exposition in San Jose.

 

Some Facts:

Population: 5 million
>GDP Per Capita: $16,000
>Strong growth.
>Big Mac Index: $3.77 (About same as USA)
>Well developed grocery chain infrastructure with refrigerated produce sections and freezer space for frozen polybag blueberries.
>Strong Food Industry Sector with bakeries such as Bimbo, Dairy Tres Pinos and importers and suppliers for the foodservice and hotel and restaurant industries.
>With large expat communities and store chains serving them, the general public does have awareness of blueberries!

Activity:

USHBC shared booth with the USDA-Foreign Agriculture Service Representative in Costa Rica who is a big fan of blueberries and so happy to work with our Latin America Food Tech Katia Miura.   Face to face interaction is important and we met with dozens of current and potential buyers and product developers.

Here is a short video of Costa Rican made blueberry products!

CR products


Expocomer Panama

Bienvenidos!

Bienvenidos to Panama!   USHBC conducted the first trade mission and expositon to the Republic of Panama March 27-30, 2019 in Panama City.  For the past five years, we have met dozens of Panamanian companies at expositions in Miami.  Food companies in the region including baking, confectionery and snacks are seeking Real Blueberries and this year Blueberry FoodTech hopped the short flight to Panama for a look!

Commercial bakeries in the region look to use frozen blueberries in muffins and other items.

Dried blueberries work in the snacking culture.

Purees and puree concentrate is desired for ice creams and sorbets.  Panamanians are crazy for ice cream, especially in the heat of the April Summer where the temperatures soar to 90s and high humidity!

The USHBC Strategic directs  marketing and promotional activities to seek out new high value markets!   While most activities continue in the Asian markets, it is time to look close to home in the Central American market.

Stay tuned.

Adios from Panama!