Blueberries as inclusions are ubiquitous these days: in everything from blueberry pizza, blueberry yogurt, blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, to blueberry smoothies, blueberry ice cream, blueberry confections, blueberry beverages. Food processors use real blueberries in a range of products from baked goods, fillings and toppings, to sauces, smoothies, frozen novelties, cereals and healthy snacks.
Consumers identify blueberries with health benefits such as antioxidants and fiber. The fruit's natural blue pigment provides an identifiable way for customers to spot real blueberry-containing products.
Consumer blueberry research conducted in four areas of the US found a willingness to pay more for products containing real blueberries. In key-person interviews 88.8 percent of consumers are willing to pay 50 cents or more for products with real blueberries. Focus group respondents would pay 15 to 25% more for products containing real blueberries.
Specific examples of how product designers are meeting demand in their products include blueberries in dessert sauces and in cakes laced with blueberries. In fact, fruit is used to garnish indulgent treats as a way to grant permission to the reluctant; desserts can be exonerated via blueberries. Fruit-based smoothie-cakes take advantage of blueberries in the form of purees and concentrates as do so-called “nutritious” cakes using pureed blueberries.
Blueberries provide an acidic note that adds the perfect accent to rich desserts, chocolate and otherwise. The blueberry image is used to imbue products with a virtuous and planet-friendly aura.
The breakfast-as-dessert trend explores the pancake/waffle realm, bringing blueberries together with herb-steeped syrups and the inviting crunch of roasted nuts; blueberries give such indulgences a comfort-food permit.
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 day-part from breakfast to late-night snacks. Fruits go from the produce aisles to the snack shelf and freezer case. It is transformed into beverages, condiments and baked goods of all kinds. They also appeal to all ages and demographics."
Blueberries are nutritionally dense, contain 14 g. carbohydrate/100g., low in calories and virtually fat-free; they contain no cholesterol, are a source of fiber and contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
With fruity, burst in the mouth flavor and healthy profile, blueberries give products lush taste, broad appeal and a clean label. Virtually fat-free, low in sodium, carbohydrates and cholesterol, blueberries are a delicious source of Vitamin C and manganese. Fresh fruits including blueberries contain many naturally occurring antioxidants and consequently are a good choice for consumers looking to protect their bodies against the damaging effects of free radicals and chronic diseases associated with the aging process.