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.
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!
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.
Dried Blueberries. Sweetened dried blueberries are sought for snack mixes, cereals bars and confectionery. The sweeter the better.
See you next year in Sao Paulo!