Welcome Sunyong Lee: Korean Blueberry Pioneer

Welcome Sunyong Lee: Korean Blueberry Pioneer

Now that we are on the Korean topic, let’s talk about the guy who helped make the blueberry fever happen.   He is on a vacation in California now and we connected for a chat and some soju last night to talk about old times in the Korean market.   Sunyong is a Food Scientist and Seoul University graduate and worked in the food industry for decades.   His hobby is mountain climbing and he maintains membership in the Seoul University Mountaineering Club.

Back in his days in the food industry Sunyong was one of the first to appreciate blueberries.  He worked to develop some of the first blueberry-containing dairy items in the early 80s.   Some of them are still selling well.   Each time I came to Korea we visited companies and promoted blueberries.     He went so far to help companies source full container loads of blueberries.   These new products gave Korean consumers a taste of blueberries and by the end of the 90s — blueberries were everywhere!

Back to his “retirement.”

Besides mountain climbing on weekends all over Korea, Sunyong is also a blueberry grower and adviser to other growers.   We attended the first annual Korea blueberry festival and feasted on blueberry bulgogibi bim bap and of course blueberry soju!  (alcohol beverage).  He continued to help Korean companies locate prized blueberries.    He is always contacting his buddies at Korean companies to talk new product ideas with blueberries.
Now, USHBC has finally figured a way to harness his blueberry energy and Sunyong has agreed to serve as our “blueberry food industry ambassador.”    He will be helping — doing what he already does so well.    Promote blueberries and blueberry products!