“What’s Ap” with Raj Kapoor

This year I have spent a lot of time with our India/Middle East FoodTech Raj Kapoor. At trade shows, seminars, Indian dinners — he is continually on his mobile device typing away! The screen shot above is the “world of Raj Kapoor” where he is the center of the blueberry universe in India.   This is a continual stream of communications, contacts, questions and answers.

 

Here is the front line of Raj’s “blueberry legion.” They are all representatives of Indian companies who now regularly import, dried, frozen, liquid and other forms of blueberries to India. Raj hailed them to the Bakery Expo in Chennai where they worked the crowd and expanded their customer base. Each visitor to the USHBC booth was added to Raj’s What’s Ap list!

 

This year Raj had eleven partner companies at the Bakery Expo in Chennai. He is adding new blueberry companies daily and now moving into new regions.   Raj just keeps pecking away at his mobile device and USA blueberry usage continues to rise.

 

When we started work in India ten years ago, we had no contacts, no customers, no suppliers and little interest. We were told by prominent dried fruit and nut importers that dried blueberries were an impossible item in India. Raj’s contacts gave it a try, succeeded and disproved the skeptics. Look at the statistics taken from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) Fruit and Treenut Statistics published on the web. Wow–over $1 million in US blueberries were shipped to India in 2018. Already in 2019 there have been almost $1 million in USA dried blueberry imports into India and this includes date up to August 2019!

The lesson learned — a combination of social media, food science and hard work makes the market move!  If you are on What’s Ap, send a message to Raj!  He is waiting!


Super Korean FoodTech In Action

You may ask — what is Sunyong Lee up to in Korea? Glad you asked: We challenged our Korean FoodTech  to find new uses for blueberries in the Korean market. He is off and running!  Above he meets with the director of a company called “Baby Yo.” The company produces home meal replacements (HMRs). Koreans rarely cook at home an rely on prepared items from stores and often convenience stores. They are always looking for new ideas and Sunyong has the answer: Blueberries!  BTW: That is Sunyong on the left!

 

Meat is King in Korea. Here Sunyong meets with the research director of Foodsmith a prepared meat producer. He loved the blueberry Bi-Bim Bap sauce conceopt developed by Sunyong.

Sunyong is an expert in dairy flavors and has worked all over Asia. In fact, he was the first to develop a blueberry novelty more than 30 years ago. Here he checks in at a leading dairy ingredient supplier who uses blueberry puree and puree concentrate.  We see lots of potential in this usage category!

Despite all consumer trends towards health and beauty — Koreans are still gobbling up donuts! Here Sunyong explains procedures for adding blueberry flakes and powders into this “American style” favorite!

 

What do young Koreans do after work! Chicken and beer is now the rage.  Sunyong tweaked his Bi Bim Bap sauce with some extra chili kick and it is a hit. Company name: ChiMcKing!

 

The nice thing about getting a food science degree from Seoul National University is that you always have fellow alumni to visit at the top companies. Here is a new friend from the top cosmetic company in Korea. (Arome Pacific)   Thanks to Sunyong’s connection –natural blueberry extract from the USA is now used in a variety of new and improved cosmetics for women and yes–men!  It takes around 35 kg of blueberry to make 1 kg of blueberry extract!

Above: As of October 15, 2019  we see new products developed in new categories such as sauces, meats and even natural cosmetics. Sunyong is making a difference!

 


USA Blueberries at ANUGA

ANUGA is the largest food exposition in the world. It runs every other year and held in Cologne, Germany. There are 13 halls all with two levels! USHBC has participated in ANUGA since 2000 and it is our opportunity connect with food professionals from throughout the world.

Wow! 170,000 visitors. According to the organizer, around 90 % are from outside of Germany!  USHBC made more than 250 great contacts and  we have been busy following up, answering questions and making connections.

 

Here is our booth! Kari, who is originally from Watsonville, California and lives in Cologne, has  helped us for the last ten ANUGAs. She is an expert at hunting down blueberry items at this huge exposition! Note the Vietnamese poster, which drew a lot of attention!

Here is a great example of blueberry product innovation from the United Kingdom Pavilion. The product includes a lot of blueberry in a sharp cheddar cheese!

 

Here is a new concept, dried fruit including blueberries with infused probiotics!  Attracted a lot of attention!

 

ANUGA is an excellent venue to tour the world food industry. I visited all of the six Russian pavilions!

 

What’s hot in Europe? Dried blueberries as snacks!  Love the mascots!

 

Despite a duty of more than 16%, sales of dried highbush blueberry exports to Europe continue to grow!  Note the statistics above are from the USDA ERS (Economic Research Service) Fruit and Treenuts Database which is available online.  ERS receives trade (import and export) data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau.


Hana and Bell Excellent Adventure

Our route took us 690 miles, two states and six Vietnamese restaurants!  Hana, our Vietnam FoodTech helped tour Ms. Bell Dong from Dan On Foods (Vietnam) around the Pacific Northwest. They visited blueberry farms, a dried blueberry factory and attended the USHBC meeting in Richland, Washington! Dan On Foods is a customer of dried blueberries and produces snack foods in Vietnam which are distributed all over Southeast Asia and China!  Here they are in Seattle at Pho #6!

Pho Hung Restaurant in Portland was voted top Pho of all six restaurants sampled on the “Excellent Adventure.” Really authentic according to Hana and Bell

Just when you thought it was safe…
This rest stop photo in Central Washington  is sure to end up in Facebook posts all over Vietnam.

Welcome back Hana and Bell!


Korean Polybag Gets Real!

Check out the redesign of the Wooyang blueberry polybag in South Korea! Wooyang identified their USA product with the Real Seal! Welcome to the club!

Wooyang is a loyal USA blueberry customer and appreciates the high-brix, soft skinned product from the USA.  They are one of the largest volume customers of USA blueberries in South Korea and good friends of our industry!  We look forward to see the Wooyang crew at the American Frozen Foods Institute AFFI) in Las Vegas in the Spring!


Fresh, Frozen, Dried Blueberries in Taichung

Welcome to “Fresh” Supermarket in Taichung, Taiwan (Central Region). The California Agriculture Export Council (CAEC) and the USDA-ATO in Taiwan organized this great retail promotion during September. Our Taiwan FoodTech organized blueberry products for the event including fresh, frozen and dried blueberries.  Check out those cool USA vests!

 

The whole concept brings together USA blueberries and blueberry products. Here is our friend Fred Klose from CAEC kicking off the event.  Check out the flashy point-of-sales materials directing customers to the blueberries and other USA fruits.

 

Here is the poster at point-of-sale. USA Blueberries were also included in the store flyer.

 

The store has an in house bakery and they produced blueberry products for the promotion.

Lots of media and press coverage!

Thanks to the California Agricultural Export Council for the opportunity to participate!

 


USA Blueberries a hit at Mexico FoodTech Summit!

USA Blueberries were the talk of the Mexico Food Tech Summit. Food processors from all over Latin America lined up to connect to blueberry ingredients.

This is a trade-only exposition.  Ingredient companies from all over the world came to the Mexico City event.

 

What’s Hot? Natural colors and flavors. Ingredients like dried blueberries, powders, puree and concentrates were in demand.

 

The Blueberry Guy held office at the booth and more than 200 really great contacts were made including companies looking for frozen blueberries.

 

Now it is time to get to work and follow up.   See you next year in Mexico City!


Limonada de Bueberry-Mexico City

Now here is a really great blueberry beverage served at the Vapiano Italian restaurant chain in Mexico City.  This bartender-inspired drink includes a generous addition of real blueberries! Also, uses the name: “blueberries.”

 

Here is another reason to like the Limonada de blueberry.  Note the value-added price compared to the limonada without blueberry!

 


Food Tech Summit Mexico

Yesterday was set-up day! With expositions in foreign countries we bring our own booth materials and carefully craft an attractive and welcoming booth. What do you think?


Mexico Food Tech Summit 2019

Bienvenidos from Mexico City and the annual Food Tech Summit. This week food processors and suppliers from all over the United States of Mexico (the proper name of our neighbor country) gather at the Centro Banamex in the capital city. This is our fourth year of participation!

The expo runs from September 25-26, 2019

I just walked the show in advance of the opening:

Companies are featuring blueberries in artwork on booths.  The term “blueberries” is used!

Bluebnerry powders, juices, purees and concentrates are offered by ingredient companies.

Natural cosmetics, beauty, beauty-from-within are the buzz words!

For the first time I see pet foods and pet friendly ingredients offered.

Wil keep you posted.

Good morning from Mexico City!

 

 

 


Blueberry Seminars China -2019

USHBC FoodTech Julia Zhu presents highbush blueberries to health professionals as well as importers and distributors at seminars held September 15-20, 2019 in: Changsha (Hunan Province), Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province) and Nanjing (Jiangsu Province).

 

These three “Second-Tier” cities are some of the largest population centers of China and are some of the fastest developing regions in the country of 1.3 billion. Few cooperator promotions reach these regions and the seminars had great impact.

 

Attendees included key opinion influencers in the health field such as nutritionists, journalists and educators. At same time, importers, distributors and manufacturers attended. They saw the great interest and connected with USA blueberries.

 

Julia field questions from the audience. Many just wanted to know where they could purchase real blueberries. With the popularity of blueberries in China — fakes are present!

This was a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with importers and distributors.

The audience sampled healthy salads made with blueberries!

Many thanks to Dr. Amy Howell PhD. of Rutgers University who helped Julia with the health part of the presentation!

Results!   USA products such as blueberries face lots of challenges in the China market.  We continue to work to raise the awareness and interest in USA Blueberries all over China.  Importers and distributors thanked the US visitors for not-abandoning the market and for helping to educate the public.

 


International Baking Industry Exposition

It happens every four years! The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE). What draws commercial bakers from throughout the world? Besides a big week in Vegas, you have the latest and greatest bakery equipment on display. USHBC hosts a strategically located booth and bingo! You have access to bakers from throughout the world!

What do bakers want:  Formulas and new Ideas!

Here is an example of the products developed by Chef Bobby Gomez from New Jersey — the Garden State. These are bakery-tested examples of optimal use of blueberries!

We met hundreds of bakers from North America and abroad!   Let us watch as these concept start to appear all over the world!

Viva IBIE.  See you in four years!


Expo IAlimentec Colombia

USHBC continues to work on the promising Colombian food industry market. This year, we participated in the Ialimentec Exposition which is a trade only event held in Bogota. Since last year’s activity launch, this has been like “old home week” where we are visiting friends from 2018 and seeing new product developments in 2019!

 

A representative from Nutresa, visits USHBC FoodTech Katia Miura at the booth!  Carlos in the back from Nutrilink is an importer and distributor who is a tremendous help to USHBC FoodTech!  

 

Blueberry Guy’s buddy Carlito visits to discuss his new dairy initiatives.  He is always the life of the party and a real new product visionary and friend of blueberries.  

 

Here is our booth backdrop specially developed for the Colombia Expo!

Mission accomplished!  The excitement continues and wait until you see the stream of new blueberry-containing products coming out of Colombia!