Here is the transcript from Elizabeth White’s presentation to the Garden Club of New Jersey in 1937!
USHBC promotions are in full-swing in Japan and South Korea. The first statistics in from both countries indicate some promising results. It is especially exciting to see a rebound in the Japan market which has been a challenge the past few years. We will monitor closely and post the score here on the blog.
Japan: Fresh USA Blueberry Imports
May 2014 = $567,000 – 136,000 kg
May 2015 = $623,000 – 216,000 kg
South Korea: Fresh USA Blueberry Imports
May 2014 = $0 Value – 0 kg
May 2015 = $731,000 – 201,000 kg
Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics and USDA-ERS calculations using Census trade statistics.
With the Centennial of Highbush Blueberries coming up in 2016 it is interesting to see some of the many steps that led to this great achievement. Check out below the book by Frederick V. Coville (1910) on Google Books.
Now here is the other end of the ingredient spectrum. Some of these very specialized companies engineer products for functional characteristics. In other words, the ingredients make the end product better. If you can make a product better and also have the desirable image of real blueberries — this is a winner!
Functional foods are international! Check out these Korean products that are flavored by Samjung a major Korean flavor company. At their booth at IFT.
The Key to Blueberry Soju! The beverage industry is one of the most secret areas of the food industry. After all, what differentiates Coca Cola from Pepsi and Dr. Pepper. Flavor companies such as Samjung and American companies crack the code to create real beverage flavors that are consistent time and again. This is the blueberry flavor from Samjung is responsible for the Blueberry Soju craze in Korea!
Here are some more observations from the big IFT show in Chicago!
The show is full of all sorts of food additives, and chemicals.
It was refreshing to see the US Blueberry booth and something real. We took the “real” theme and offered real fresh blueberries — “picked yesterday up the road in Michigan!” They were a hit!
Better bakery with blueberries! Here is a Gum company which is a food ingredient that holds products together. Check out the ingredient statement and you will find gums like gum Arabic. What impresses me is this huge gum supplier called TIC uses blueberry images to portray better baked goods!
Form matters. This exhibit from German based Paradise Fruit explains it all. Most food products that are manufactured in the world are “low moisture.” That means if a blueberry is 80 percent moisture, then a low moisture blueberry will be 28 percent or lower — even down to 4% for freeze dried. This company takes blueberries and other fruits and engineers them into ingredients that match the desired moisture and water activity (migratable moisture) in a product. Paradise buys blueberries from all over the world. Remember the mantra: Each lb of low-moisture fruit utilizes 3.5 lbs/of fruit. We love that!
Real Fruit Candy! We are excited to see our per capita consumption of blueberries soar to more than 2 lbs per person. But when it comes to consumption — look to the candy business and you will find 10 to 15 lbs per person! Now it is exciting to see candy companies, big and small formulating natural candies from fruit. We are onto something here!
Here is the reason for all of the excitement: Antioxidants and health benefits!
Fresh blueberries from Oregon are available all over Korea. USHBC promotions are in full swing! Korea has it’s own local production and recent reports show about 2,500 acres.
The Korean season begins in Jeju Island in the south, which is like the “Hawaii” of Korea. I have seen Jeju blueberries in early May.
US shipped product arrives in June and July.
Here are some photos of fresh blueberries in three markets: We say can safely that the imports have not depressed prices of local production. In fact, Koreans always value locally fresh blueberries produced fruits and vegetables. At same time the imports are giving more and more Koreans an opportunity to enjoy fresh blueberries!
About half of all blueberries produced go to the food industry. How do blueberries make their way into the 2,500 or so new products that hit the supermarket shelves each month?
The are research and developed. R & D!
The folks who do the R & D are called food technologists or food scientists. They receive marching orders from marketing and management and spend years and millions of dollars developing new products. Ask anyone in the food industry and they will tell you that companies need to continually re-invent with new products to keep up with trends and the demands of the ever changing consumer base!
Here are some observations from the recent Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting in Chicago. (July 12-15, 2015) Blueberries were everywhere!
I was greeted with the Milne banner over the entry. Great blueberry powder.
This one immediately got my attention. A flavor company.
At a closer glance, I am still not sure what this was all all about?
A highlight was running into my old friend Gord Cheema, a blueberry grower from the Pacific Northwest and now in the Freeze Dry Business. He attracted a lot of attention with his powders and freeze dried blueberries! Highlight 2 was our visit to the Chicago Curry House for a Nepalese dinner!
More action shots from the IFT later!!!
Ok, no cute mascot photos in this post. But, some very important information for exporters of frozen blueberries from North America to South Korea.
Frozen Blueberry Duties
USA – South Korea
Frozen blueberries FTA KORUS HS 0811909000
2015 12.8% – 2016 8.5% – 2017 4.2% – 2018 0%
Adjusted every March 15 of each year. Note the USA-Korea Free Trade Agreement went into effect on March 15, 2012
Canada – South Korea
Frozen blueberries FTA KOREA-CANADA HS 0811909000
2015:25.7% 2016:21.4% 2017:17.1% 2018:12.8% 2019:8.5% 2020:4.2% 2021:0%,
Adjusted every January 1st of the year. T he Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement went into effect on January 1, 2015
USHBC made a grand debut at the 2000 Food Taipei Show. Our samples were scrutinized for two hours by customs at the airport. Nobody knew what a blueberry was! Our taxi to the show almost flattened a motor scooter. (nobody was hurt — just the pride of the “hello kitty” helmet wearing speedster. Then when all looked good, the show was rocked by a major earthquake sending booths flying. We survived and now Taiwan is one of our major export markets for fresh and processed blueberries.
Taiwan has seen a steady growth of fresh blueberry sales, but now we starting to see more and more blueberry-containing products including frozen and dried blueberries.
Check out just a few of the new offerings exhibited at the Food Taipei show in June 2015. USHBC met with many of the leading food companies in the region and should see some more new products in the months to come!
Locally Packed Dried Blueberries.
Blue-Me, our lovable Korean mascot is a hit! Blueberry guy is getting dozens of requests for more Blue-Me and here is the little critter’s video debut from last season! Blue me helps the “whimsy family” with all sorts of daily challenges. Bad hair day; mediocre grades at school…
Blue-Me can do it all!
Biggest — where to get fresh blueberries in Korea.
We already reported that there were more than 80 new blueberry-containing products introduced in North America in the first half of 2015! (126 worldwide). These include dog, cat hamster and even reptile food with blueberries! While most blueberries are extruded into mixtures of grains and proteins — here is a brand new concept. Fruit toppings to be added to regular pet foods!
The Beyond ® Natural Puree line is a pouch concept. Mixtures include mixtures of blueberry with chicken and beef and vegetables. Note the blueberries on the pack to appeal to the pet owner! What a great idea!
Japanese take breakfast on the run and this offering introduced by famous baker Casanova blends a substantial amount of blueberry into a rich creme cheese filling! Sales are going well! The launch has included point of sale highlighting the blueberries! Foodservice is a rapidly growing category for fresh and frozen blueberries!
The Japanese take their donuts seriously. In fact — Japan has the second leading per capita consumption of donuts in the world after Canada! Most of the big doughnut franchises are located in Japan but Mr. Donut has more than 1,300 outlets.
Check out the newly launched item from Krispy Kreme in Japan. This is a doughnut, topped with blueberry ice cream and a blueberry topping! Not to be outdone — Mr Donut Japan has recently launched a blueberry cupcake topped with dried blueberries! Not time to bring on the Blueberry Donut Mascot!