Driving demand in 2016
December 29, 2015

As another year comes to the end, we think back to the industry’s successes in 2015 – new partnerships with top chain restaurants like Wendy’s and Panera, greater and different types of exposure to almost 1 Billion (with a “B”) customers, successful events with allies in the health arena and countless others. And we have a lot to look forward to in 2016.Exports-320x235

This past October, hundreds of Council members convened in Las Vegas to discuss and hear about key areas supported by the USHBC, including Health Research and Industry Relations, which is guiding the work on our 5-year strategic plan. As part of the Promotion Committee meeting, members learned about the research-driven programs that were developed to drive purchases and bring blueberries to more people – in more places – in 2016.

Here are a few of the highlights from those programs.

United States
•    Use celebrity spokesperson Alison Sweeney to influence more female buyers
•    Encourage media stories about blueberries to influence consumer and foodservice audiences; work with health professionals to gain publicity around the health benefits of blueberries
•    Drive high volume purchases of blueberries through key foodservice programs, including the 5th Annual Blueberry Boot Camp (Panera to Disney), chain restaurant outreach for menu additions and schools, all focused on the flavor and versatility of blueberries
•    Increase the number of blueberry fans through social media activities and other digital promotions
•    Work in Mexico to grow consumption in the region by reaching consumers at retail and connecting with foodservice decision-makers
•    Speak to state commissions and other member gatherings about the promotions and ways to get involved

•    Expand existing export markets through trade shows, supermarket displays and other promotional channels
•    Explore long range developmental markets
•    Find and analyze opportunities for opening blocked markets
•    Use government and other partner support when available for funding

Food Technology
•    Link companies and customers with needed blueberry products
•    Provide technical service and support for addition of blueberries to products
•    Promote new uses of blueberries – pet foods and cosmetics in recent years
•    Work with partners who have access to new distribution channels
•    Maintain an online database and food technology website
•    Distribute newsletters and seek publicity

Starting again in January, the Council will continue monthly email updates for RideTheBlueWave.com that will include a 2016 promotional calendar and ways members can get involved in fueling demand in the U.S. We look forward to working together again in the New Year, and hope you and your families have a happy holiday season.


Source: USHBC