Blue Me has all of the fun!

One thing is for sure — USHBC has the coolest mascot in Korea!  Here are some more action shots.

Young ladies lined up for photos with Blue-me!
Young ladies lined up for photos with Blue-me!
Blue Me is really connected and asks for new friends and likes for the blueberry facebook page in Korea! Everyone loves blue me!
Blue Me is really connected and asks for new friends and likes for the blueberry facebook page in Korea! Everyone loves blue me!

Blue Me in Action! (Video)

By popular demand…here is our lovable mascot stirring up the crowd at the Seoul Food Exposition 2016!


Highbush Blueberries & Beauty from Within

“Beauty from within,” “cosmaceuticals, ” “nutracosmetics.”   My definition, natural substances which are beneficial for skin, hair and nails.   Beauty ingredients. Mark my words, these are terms that you will hear a lot about — and a basis for continued market development at home and abroad.

I was asked to give a presentation on trends at a seminar on USA food trends in Japan recently.   Japan has built the most advanced food industry in the world and always at the forefront of new trends such as nutractraceuticals.  Now Asian countries are at the forefront of natural cosmetics and the emerging “beauty from within” and “beauty in advance” trends!

Here are some slides from my presentation.


Japan Food Technology Seminar

USHBC participated in a day-long seminar on trends hosted by the USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Japan.   Our topic: Beauty from within product development.  That is — products made with ingredients which are associated with beauty.   This is a multi-billion dollar emerging food industry category and right in line with our “beauty” positioning in Japan.

Master Chef John Hui of Pebble Beach Resorts conducted demonstrations on beauty from within products such as a beauty bar and granita which are standouts at the famous California resort.

Here are some shots from the well attended seminar May 13, 2016.


Blueberry “Blue Me” at Seoul Foods Exposition

Everyone loves a mascot.  This is especially true in Korea where our lovable Blue-Me is top of the food mascot pecking order!   On May 10-13, Blue Me made a big splash at the annual Seoul Food Exposition serving as mascot ambassador to the food industry.   Here are some photos!

Blue Me makes new friends!
Mascot Diplomacy!
Blue-Me Works the crowd!

USHBC Sponsors Korean Culinary Contest

Foodservice is a major untapped market for fresh, dried and frozen blueberries in South Korea.   USHBC dived into this category with sponsorship of the desserts category for the Seoul Foods Culinary Challenge.  Professional chefs and culinary students from throughout South Korea competed in the four day event held in conjunction with the Seoul Foods Exposition.  Awards were given to best in class and innovation.   Several chefs commented that they had never thought of integrating blueberries into their operations due to the limited availability of fresh blueberries.  All agree that frozen blueberries are a great way to get blueberries into the kitchen and on the plate!

Awards Ceremony.
Student and pro chefs.
More Blue Me Action.
Blue Me makes friends with student chefs.
USHBC sponsored dessert competion.
Chef Hui and Colleagues who judged competition.
Student and pro chefs.

Taiwan Market Pays off for USHBC

Advertising in Taiwan Woman’s Magazine

The year 2000 marked the beginning of the USHBC market approach to Taiwan!  This country of 23.4 million has always been a major trading partner to the USA.  Our first visit found almost no awareness and use of blueberries.  USHBC decided change things and began a full court press to bring Taiwan into the “Blue” country list!

Our first — USHBC we attended the Food Taipei conference, and soon after arrival the Island was rocked by a major earthquake which toppled many of the booths at the exposition center.

Blueberry booth remained standing and inspired us to push ahead to develop our first export market outside of USHBC implemented activities to raise awareness, interest in  blueberries.  This included advertising in women’s magazines titles the “Blue Gem.”  We worked on fresh promotions with major chains, food service and institutions such as schools and the Taiwan armed forces.   Our in-country representative Millie Hsia known in the trade as. “Blueberry Millie” worked tirelessly to educate the trade and gained international attention with a special award of merit from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

Promotion in South Taiwan

Most initial activities focused on fresh blueberries.     In store promotions were launched in July of each year to coincide with National Blueberry Month.   Each year, more and more retailers increased their blueberry deals and soon fresh blueberries were available Island-wide.   With each passing year, USHBC promotions were adjusted to align with early season blueberries in May and June.    Peak season promotions were held in June and in 2005 food service promotions were held with major hotel chains and family style restaurants.   Fresh blueberries were  also was featured in television programs beamed all over the nation.   This really kicked up the volume!

Beam ahead to 2016 — Taiwan is now the 5th leading market for fresh blueberries from the USA.

  • 760,000 kg fresh highbush   (about 1.7 million lbs)
  • $2.1 million USD

NOTE: All shipments stay in Taiwan and are not re-exported to China or other markets!

What next?  The Taiwan market continues to be an important fresh market for USAshippers.  This will continue.  USHBC has now focused activities on frozen  blueberries for food industries as well as dried blueberries.   Some of the leading food processing companies are now launching new blueberry products and more are in the works.

Thank you Taiwan — our tried and true market!

Frozen blueberries a hit in China!

This was the tenth year USHBC has exhibited at the SIAL China exposition in Shanghai China.   This year we noted a lot of interest in frozen blueberries!  According to our two super-smart booth helpers — all of their peers seek healthy diets and beauty regimes.    They go to the gym regularly and have purchased electric blenders for making smoothies.  All of their friends do the same and love blueberries!

Our blueberry customers of the future! Bring on the polybags!

Food manufacturers in the USA and Canada are responding to supply and demand to develop a flurry  of new blueberry-containing products in the first quarter of 2016.  The number of new products has jumped more than 50 percent over 2015 at 150 new products January-April 2016.   At this pace the numbers will on par with the record amount in 2012.


Here are just a few innovative products:

Nothing but blueberries!
Blueberry pet foods continue!
Baby food with blueberries and healthy grains.
Ale with natural blueberry flavor and lots of blueberry identification on the pack.
Blueberries, blueberry puree and lots of chocolate!

Visiting Special K at Battle Creek

USHBC traveled to the “Cereal City” — Battle Creek, Michigan for meetings with regional food technologists.   Great to meet with manufacturers, suppliers and sellers of blueberries.  Always seeing new items such as extracts, powders and even blueberry seed oils!

Headed home through "Beer city!"
Next day, attended grower meeting at South Haven.
Powder Pure is a company in Washington who produces a high phenolic powder to rival the imports from Europe and Asia.