It’s a centennial promotion. Blueberries were first marketed in 1916 from highbush blueberry fields in Whitesbog, N.J. The pioneers in that effort were Elizabeth White, the daughter of a cranberry farmer; and Frederick Coville, a U.S. Department of Agriculture botanist.
The marketing efforts include: • blueberry sampling and educational displays at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.; • blueberry sampling and displays at 125 employee cafeterias for companies including banks, media outlets, national museums, government and advertising agencies; • blueberry dishes featured on food truck menus in Washington, D.C.; • social media contests in which consumers share photos of their favorite blueberry dishes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; • digital marketing and advertising; and • national and regional media exposure that will include a feature on the Science Channel’s “How It’s Made.”
“Americans — especially the multi-billion dollar millennial market — are increasingly interested in the story behind their food, and are seeking simple ways to incorporate foods with genuine origins into their daily routine,” Mark Villata, the council’s executive director, said in a news release. “Our centennial marketing programs tap into that trend to encourage blueberry purchases during peak supply periods.”
“Since the day the first crop of highbush blueberries traveled from farm to table, our industry has been helping people lead healthier, more fulfilling lives,” Parm Bains, chairman of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, said in the release. “Over the past 20 years alone, we’ve unearthed mounds of scientific evidence on the health benefits of blueberries, doubled blueberry use on chain restaurant menus, started shipping blueberries to 44 countries across the globe and nearly tripled consumption in the U.S.”