The US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has said that the import of US blueberries to India has increased over the past few years.
In a statement, the USHBC said that imports of US blueberries in all forms have increased since 2009, and the council intends to continue to develop new opportunities for Indian consumers to enjoy the flavour and unique health benefits of blueberries and blueberry ingredients.
“In fact, imports of dried blueberries from the US increased from zero in 2009 to more than 1,800 metric tons (MT) in 2020, and fresh blueberry imports reached 100 MT,” it said.
It noted that US blueberries not only have a reputation for consistent quality, but also offer many nutritional and health benefits.
They are low in fat and sodium, have just 80 calories per cup, and contribute phytonutrients called polyphenols. They also provide key vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and manganese, which can help the body process cholesterol.
These nutrients are also essential to fighting not just common health issues but helping boost immunity, it added.
In 2021, the USHBC expanded its programming in India to promote blueberries not only as a fresh, healthy snack, but also as a flavourful ingredient with a diverse range of utilisations and characteristics for packaged goods and food service menu items.
“Processed blueberries can be frozen, dried or transformed into powder, puree and juice, and used in a variety of sweet and savory applications,” USHBC’s Vice President of Global Business Development, Alicia Adler, said.
“Developing new products with blueberries not only meets consumer demands for unique flavour and healthy food products, but also increases the profitability of the food manufacturing sector by incorporating value-added ingredients like blueberries.”
USHBC India Representative, Raj Kapoor said: “USHBC is a federal research and promotion programme representing blueberry growers, marketers, exporters and importers in the US, who work together to research, innovate, and promote blueberries around the world.”