Orlando, Florida – USHBC FoodTech is just back from the GPE!
Ten years ago, you had to look very hard for blueberry-containing products. In fact many were in the bird feed area. Today, we see blueberry use in all areas of the multi-billion dollar pet food industry. The big trend: we are seeing more and more use of pure, powder and higher value ingredients.
USHB asked our FoodTech Sunyong Lee to seek out new usage areas for blueberries! He has been busy and here are some developments to date. Check out these new products introduced in South Korea. Companies are using items such as blueberry puree concentrate, powder and flakes to launch blueberries into new and exciting categories and products. Go get ’em Sunyong!
Dubai-UAE – Interest in USA blueberries grows year-to-year in the Middle East. First it was fresh and now dried and frozen for food processing. Dozens of Indian firms showed off packaged USA dried blueberries at the event. We saw strong interest for frozen and puree from dairy companies from throughout the region.
What about fresh: The wall of blueberries still stands at local markets in Dubai!
USHBC will initiate promotional activities September 5-6 at the Expo Alimentec in Bogotá Colombia. This is an industry only show attended by food industry professionals. (Similar to the Institute of Food Technologists in the USA).
This event will precede the 1st ever Blueberry Awards which will be held in a seminar and gala event held at the premiere culinary school in Colombia.
Celebrity Chef Eric Thomas from Sao Paulo Brazil will conduct a demonstration of highbush blueberry ingredients.
Stay tuned for information on this exciting event!
Have you noticed the number of new products on the supermarket shelf with “ancient grains” on the package and ingredients such as: chia, flaxseed and quinoa in the ingredient statement? According to Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD), the number is around 1,000 worldwide. Since 2015 we have seen about 50 blueberry-ancient grain products introduced.
What is an ancient grain? There really is not an official definition for this but my personal guess is: grains and cereals that have been historically consumed since ancient times. These ancient grains are differentiated from the “modern grains” which are in high volume mass production.
Flaxseed, chia, quinoa, kamut, amaranth teff and others.
What is the connection to blueberries? Blueberries and blueberry ingredients share the same type of “health halo” as ancient grains such as flaxseed, chia and quinoa. Blueberries are a great addition to foods which utilize the addition of ancient grains as functional and on-pack consumer attraction. That is my guess!
Anyway, here is a collection of the interesting blueberry and ancient grain products around the world.
Companies using ancient grains are natural targets for blueberry usage. You will see more blueberry ancient grain products in the future.
This is good blueberry identification on a baby food product. Look at the green section on the upper right hand side and you will see the other enhancing statements including "ancient grains."
Here is an example of a pet food product with ancient grains.
This was a big year for highbush blueberries in the USDA Foods Commodity Processing arena.
In commodity processing USDA foods, purchased for schools and humanitarian feeding, are made by manufacturers into school-ready products. Schools love it. USDA loves it, and USHBC loves seeing our products utilized!
Check out this video from USHBC FoodTech showing the recent School Nutrition Association (SNA) conference held in Las Vegas, July 9-12.
New USDA Product: Berry Fruit Cup! This new concept was a highlight at the show and reports are positive on acceptance by schools and of course students.
You will also see a whole slew of blueberry containing products exhibited for consideration by school district buyers.
USDA sees the blueberry industry commitment to USDA foods and commodity processing.