Instore - August 2018 - 48
A fresh take on blueberries
Baked goods and blueberries are enjoying a certain togetherness lately,
especially in recent months as new twists on traditional pastries and
classics - croissnuts, crunchies and even blueberries - make a perfect
venue for blueberries.
"Back in 1988, which I started working on blueberries, there were few
options besides blueberry pie filling, fresh and frozen blueberries,"
says Thomas Payne, who leads marketing development for the U.S.
Highbush Blueberry Council. "Now there are countless new items available to the bakery."
The popularity of fruit such as blueberries has led the bakery industry
to create new ways of eating traditional fruit to provide flavorful baked
goods and snacks that are both healthy and functional.
Innovations like fruit pouches, bite-sized pieces, formed shapes, bars
or logs, fruit spreads, stay-fresh plastic tubs, provide consumers with
portability and on-the-go snacking.
"The snacking category has started to climb," Payne says. "With the
introduction of dried blueberries, we are seeing kits of small packets of
dried blueberries in snack kits, salads and dairy products. Dried blueberries have a stable water activity, so they can be included with grains
and nuts, especially ancient grains such as flax seeds, quinoa and chia."
The "breakfast-as-dessert" trend explores the clafoutis/pancake/waffle
realm, bringing blueberries together with herb-steeped syrups and the
inviting crunch of roasted nuts; blueberries give such indulgences a
Fruity flavor paired with mint or floral, as in blueberry mojito and herbblueberry teas as a flavor base for novel baked goods. Blueberry works
well in flavor combinations with spices, botanicals, floral, citrus and
herbaceous because blueberries complement and enhance as well as
Ancient grains are increasingly popular, and blueberries are synergistic
with oats, amaranth, buckwheat, chia, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff,
kamut, farro and spelt. With heightened interest in gluten-free products,
blueberries are a popular ingredient. Their presence lends the glutenfree formulations a homey and old-fashioned attraction. Blueberries
can serve as the basis for vegan snacks and formulations and other
special diet foods. They are also compatible with nuts and seeds.
Americans are interested in the health benefits of food, with fruits
and vegetables at the top of the list. According to Fresh Takes on Fruit:
Culinary Trend Mapping Report, a joint publication of CCD Innovation
and market research publisher Packaged Facts, "fruit is and will
continue to be omnipresent. Fruit plays a role in every daypart from
breakfast to late-night snacks. Fruits go from the produce aisles to the
48 * AUGUST 2018 * instore
Product designers are meeting demand for better-for-you ingredients
by including blueberries in dessert sauces, cakes and more.