Hana and Bell Excellent Adventure

690 miles, two states and six Vietnamese restaurants! Hana, our Vietnam FoodTech helped tour Ms. Bell Dong from Dan On Foods around the Pacific Northwest. They visited blueberry farms, a dried blueberry factory and attended the USHBC meeting in Richland, Washington! Dan On Foods is a customer of dried blueberries and produces snack foods in Vietnam which is distributed all over Southeast Asia and China!  Here they are in Seattle at Pho #6!

Pho Hung Restaurant in Portland was voted top Pho of all six restaurants sampled on the “Excellent Adventure.” Really authentic according to Hana and Bell

Just when you thought it was safe…
This rest stop photo is sure to end up in Facebook posts all over Vietnam.

Welcome back Hana and Bell!

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


“Full Court Press” for Fresh Blueberries in Vietnam

Count the stars! USHBC Fresh promotions in 32 Cities and provinces of Vietnam!
68 stores
272 promotion days
Continued USA Blueberry Excitement!

Here is what we want to see — happy customers! This lady is pleased to find the fresh blueberries available at Da Nang City. (one of the stars in the middle of the country coast) She purchased a bunch and received the super popular –Blueberry-Beauty-Beverage-Container. This is a Hana creation! A huge hit!


Now Big C stores have joined the Blueberry promotion! Check out their online advertising!


The online blasts worked, and this lady showed up well in advance of store opening at My Tho City to make sure to get the fresh blueberries and the BBB!

Punch these cities and provinces into the Wikipedia and see where USA fresh blueberries are promoted this season:

  1. Hanoi
  2. Ho Chi Minh City
  3. Hai Phong Province
  4. Ha Long City
  5. Mong Cai City
  6. Da Lat City
  7. Dong Nai Province
  8. Thu Dao Mot City
  9. Di An Town
  10. My Tho City
  11. Can Tho City
  12. Nha Trang City
  13. Da Nang City
  14. Thai Binh City
  15. Viet Tri City
  16. Bac Ninh City
  17. Tuyen Quang Province
  18. Ninh Binh Province
  19. Thanh Hoa Province
  20. Quang Binh Province
  21. Ha Nam Province
  22. Thai Nguyen Province
  23. Buon Me Thuot City
  24. Quang Ngai Province
  25. Tra Vinh Province
  26. Kien Giang Province
  27. Long An Province
  28. Ba Ria
  29. Vung Tau Province
  30. Gia Lai Province
  31. Ninh Thuan Province
  32. Tra Vinh Province

Success!  Fresh Blueberries are new to Vietnam.  The promotion is designed to get consumers to taste the wonderful fresh blueberries!   Each week, sales are brisk and stores sell out quickly.  Already we are seeing big jumps in sales in stores after promotions and sampling.

Stay tuned!


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!

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 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 Celebration

Lots to celebrate in Hanoi, Vietnam!

USA Independence Day a little early!

The 50th Anniversary of the USA Moon Landing

2nd Anniversary of Hana working for the USHBC in Vietnam

Upcoming arrival of fresh blueberries from the USA.

Our Hana and Van attended the big event and served Real Blueberry smoothies which were a big hit in the hot and humid summer!

Semper Fi!

Smoothie time!






Beautiful Blueberry Extracts for Vietnam

Two years ago, we started seeing Korean skincare products on the market in Vietnam.  Now here is an example of a new Vietnam-made product using USA blueberry extract and olive oil!   Hana, our local foodtech, has been linking local companies with samples and supplies!

Oh Myanmar

It all started almost a year ago in New Orleans, Louisiana.  USHBC exhibited at the Dairy Deli Bakery Exposition which is a gathering of up and coming companies in the food industry.  It was an excellent show, lots of interest in blueberries.  All of a sudden, a group of 15 bakery owners from Myanmar (Formerly Burma) arrive at our booth!  They were in town on a USDA sponsored training visit.   They were excited to see blueberries!  After a nice visit — I mentioned “why don’t you head up to Mississippi and see the real thing.”  After a call to one of the growers in Poplarville, off they went to blueberry heaven!

Now beam ahead to 2019.  We received a note from the USDA office that this same group of bakers were organizing an all day seminar and exposition in Yangon, the capital.  The concept was for the traveling group to share experiences with the local baking industry.  USHBC was invited as VIP guest and Tom and Hana headed off to Myanmar!

I arrived at midnight to this exotic Southeast Asian city.  In the morning, here is the view from my hotel window.  This place is the fastest growing economy on earth according to the World Bank!

Welcome to the Showcase!

In the morning, we had an exposition and bakers and suppliers from throughout Myanmar attended.  Here is Hana hard at work at the booth.

Next we had a chef demonstrate how to make a Myanmar pizza with  blueberries.

Yummy pizza!

A great success.  We re-connected with our Myanmar friends and some are already using frozen and dried blueberries in local products!

Hana gets participation award from Rachel Nelson of the USDA in Myanmar.

Good day from Myanmar!

Saigon Chefs Association

USHBC FoodTech Hana presents concepts at Saigon Chef Association meeting

Ho Chi Minh City – Hana continues to work the booming foodservice channel in Vietnam with cooperation with the local chef association.   Chefs are excited to see frozen blueberries available at last in Vietnam as well as dried and soon fresh!

Salute to the Vietnamese Spartan!

Diep orders rice noodles at our team-blueberry reunion in HCM City, January 2019

January 2019, Blueberry Guy met up with our Super Spartan in Ho Chi Minh City — Diep Tran.  Last summer when USHBC prepared for a site visits by the  Vietnam Ministry for Rural Development(MRD)  — we were in a bind.  Mission impossible: find a Vietnamese speaking translator with a horticultural or entomology background!   Not that easy — there are thousands of Vietnamese exchange students in the USA and most in engineering and business.  Blueberry Guy called Bob Carini in Michigan and he replied that he had a lead on a Vietnamese student in Michigan.  Bob called Dr. Rufus Issacs the blueberry entomology guru at Michigan State University who called his colleague Randy Beaudry in the Horticulture Department who just happened to be the advisor for Diep Tran, who was working on apple post harvest.  The Vietnamese were arriving in a week!  Diep was in the middle of submitting and defending her dissertation and packing up for home.  She dropped everything and added blueberry market access to the list of to do’s.  Task 1.  Plan travel for a group of three Vietnamese scientists.  Diep spent nights on the phone with the Vietnamese side making arrangements.  Vietnamese names are incredibly complicated and contain all sorts of Vietnam-only characters.  One wrong character was a problem.

Diep made it work!

Next, Diep took a crash course from Rufus on blueberries and entomology.   The visitors were the top entomologists and scientists in Vietnam and had a long list of questions to be answered on their journey to assess market access for fresh blueberries.

Diep made it work!

Next, Diep finished her dissertation and hopped a flight to Seattle to meet up with Blueberry Guy who  was meeting up with the Vietnamese delegation.   Blueberry Guy had a great Saturday with the group but they were very relieved when she arrived!

For one week, we toured the Vietnamese delegation from field to packing plants in Washington State and Michigan.   The days were long and Diep accompanied the group for 16 hr. days and continual technical translation.  It was exhausting.

Diep made it work.

At each stop we made progress with systems-approach demonstrations by an all-star team of industry, government and extension expertise.   Diep’s precise translation and good nature made the journey work.  Mission accomplished.

January 2019, Diep is back in Vietnam and an executive at a major international university in Ho Chi Minh City.   She juggles a busy schedule with family,  school, students and extension work.   But in her style–she dropped everything to meet up with Blueberry Guy who visited Vietnam to assist with a the Vietnam-USA Plant protection bilateral meeting.

Diep made it work as always!