Myanmar National TV Features USA Blueberries

Thanks to the Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Yangon, Myanmar for the wonderful media bonanza for USA blueberries. Here we have Rachel Nelson (right) who is a big booster of blueberries and local celebrity Chef Syi Leon (left) — also a big blueberry fan!

First, you need the frozen blueberries. This is a new market and our USHBC FoodTech in Vietnam made sure that frozen and dried blueberries were available. Great Job Hana! Also thanks to Pan Myat Phu at the ATO office who worked tirelessly on this project!

The recipe uses a lot of frozen blueberries. This is a traditional old-time recipe.

Here is the finished product. Just like mom used to make!

View the entire spot on the US Embassy Facebook page.

Blueberry Cobbler

ဘာေတြခ်က္ျပဳတ္ေနပါလိမ့္။ စားဖိုမွူးအေက်ာ္အေမာ္ Syi Lwin နဲ႔ အေမရိကန္သံ႐ုံး စိုက္ပ်ိဳးေရးဌာန အရာရွိတို႔ရဲ့ လုံးဝအေမရိကန္စတိုင္လ္ ဘလူးဘယ္ရီဌာပနာမုန႔္လုပ္တဲ့ “Syi Lwin and Embassy Food” အစားအေသာက္ ခ်က္ျပဳတ္တဲ့အစီအစဥ္ကို ၾကည့္ရွုအားေပးပါဦး။ စားေကာင္းမယ့္ပုံပဲေနာ္… အစားအေသာက္နဲ႔ ရိုးရာအစဥ္အလာလိုဟာမ်ိဳးေတြ မၽွေဝတာေလာက္ဘယ္အရာမွ လူေတြကိုမနီးစပ္နိုင္ ေစပါဘူးေနာ္။What’s cooking? Watch “Syi Lwin and Embassy Food” cooking segment with celebrity Chef Syi Lwin and the U.S. Embassy’s Agricultural Affairs Officer baking an all-American blueberry cobbler. Yum! Nothing brings us together like food and sharing our traditions.

Posted by U.S. Embassy Rangoon on Thursday, September 5, 2019

 


Blueberry Powder Topping Taiwan!

Now, here is real innovation from I-mei Foods in Taiwan. Introducing a freeze dried blueberry powder with probiotics as a natural ice cream toping. It takes around 11 kg of frozen blueberries to make one kg of blueberry powder. Even a dusting of blueberry powder delivers a lot of blueberry!

 

The product is featured at 100 I-mei convenience stores and foodservice outlets. Note the team up of this Taiwan giant and Danish ingredient company Danisco a part of Dupont.

Here is the package. Note the individual servicing sizes for ice cream servings. This can also be used for topping muffins, cheese cakes and just about anything!   I-Mei is a trendsetting in no-added sugar items.  

This is a great concept for foodservice operators who want to show a commitment to “Real Fruit!”

 


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

 

 

 

 

 


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/


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!


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!

 

 


Vietnam Fresh Blueberry Launch

Here is the Vincomerce Flagship store at Times City, Vietnam. Yes — they build their own cities. USA Blueberries everywhere. Today, the USA Ambassador will visit and give a speech.

 

Beautiful blueberries is the theme.   Tomorrow, July 12 USHBC will start sampling at Vincommerce stores all over Vietnam.

Stay tuned!

 

 


Taiwan Celebrates American Independence Day!

Taiwan FoodTech Mandy Chen meets the Vice President Chen, Chien Jen of the Republic of China (ROC) along with friends from the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) at Fourth of July Celebration in Taipei.  The Event was officially called: “Celebrating America’s 243rd Independence Day & the U.S. – Taiwan Travel Year.”

AIT Director William Brent Christianson is a big fan of blueberries enjoys some just arrived California blueberries.

Here is Chris Frederick who is the director of the USDA-FAS Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Taipei. USHBC participates in dozens of activities and events sponsored by the ATO each year including trade shows, seminars and important receptions such as this Fourth of July celebration.

Ok, time for speeches and toasts! Time to celebrate the 243rd anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. The ROC Celebrates its biggest national holiday on October 10 or as they say 10-10. Many thanks to the people of the Republic of China, the American Institute in Taiwan for celebrating our Independence day with us!