It’s official — South Korea is the # 1 destination for frozen blueberries. 2014 and now 2015! Thank you South Korea!
Food Processing Use Soars!
Much of the frozen blueberries supplied to South Korea is utilized in the food processing sector. This includes, dairy, baking, snacks and beverages among others. We have seen dramatic increases in innovative blueberry products that are influencing the rest of the region.
USA highbush dominates the food industry sector because of specific characteristics which make our blueberries desirable for use in this sector. This includes sweetness, flavor, texture and size.
Until recently, fresh imported blueberries have been restricted into the Korean market. Today, Oregon/USA, Chile and now Canada are allowed. While Korean local production is found in the produce sections of the markets during summer months — frozen polybag blueberries are available year round in special freezers inside of the produce section. Frozen polybag is also available in home shopping and internet sales.
Initially, USA product dominated these sectors, but due to a zero duty on frozen blueberries from Chile as a result of a previous Free Trade Agreement — some retailers switched origins due to price.
While frozen shipments continue, USHBC has initiated activities to solidify and grow our position in poly bag sales. The results have been promising.
(To be continued!)