Grab a Boost of Blue Takes Center Stage at Point of Sale, Holiday Assets, Podcast Recap, USHBC Launches Alexa Skill for Consumers

Topics in this issue of Behind the Blue:

Grab a Boost of Blue Takes Center Stage at Point of Sale

Since launching Grab a Boost of Blue in early 2021, USHBC has centered its promotional programming around this motivating call to action and worked with many in our industry to use it in their marketing as a rallying cry for consumers to buy more blueberries. That hard work and collaboration has led to an exciting milestone to cap off year one of Grab a Boost of Blue: It’s now being featured on blueberry packaging!

“Seeing the Grab a Boost of Blue logo as I shopped for my blueberries was incredible,” said USHBC/NABC Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jennifer Sparks. “It had the exact impact we’ve been hoping for since we  launched this consumer call to action earlier this year — making those packages grab attention and stand out among the other fruit and blueberries on display.”

Spotted at Wegmans – a supermarket chain with more than 100 locations throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions – the bright blue Grab a Boost of Blue logo is being used on the tape enclosure for Sun Belle’s 18-ounce organic blueberry packs, a result of a partnership with Sonoco, a Grab a Boost of Blue licensee.

“The Grab a Boost of Blue tape on the clamshells is an excellent, eye-catching consumer call to action which helps drive blueberry sales,” said Janice Honigberg, president and founder of Sun Belle Inc.

“We applaud both Sun Belle’s and Sonoco’s progressive efforts to be industry champions in this collective initiative to encourage consumers to grab a boost of blue right at the point of sale,” added Sparks. “We hope more in the industry will follow suit.”

More than 50 forward-thinking industry stakeholders are licensed to use the Grab A Boost of Blue logo in their marketing efforts, and the list is growing. Not yet licensed? It’s free and easy. Just go to ushbc.org/license to sign the agreement and download the digital tools and brand style guide.

If you’ve seen Grab a Boost of Blue on blueberry products in your store or plan to use it on your packaging, we’d love to know about it. Send it our way by emailing [email protected]!

Help Your Audiences Ring in the New Year With Blueberries

Encourage your internal and external audiences to grab a boost of blue this holiday season! With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, now is a great time to revisit USHBC’s Winter Holidays Toolkit and find festive ways to inspire consumers, partners, customers and employees. We’ve got extensive resources available to share on social media, add to printed pieces or email newsletters, and upload to your website.

Our Blueberry Sparkler is perfect for ringing in the New Year, and you’ll find printable recipe cards as well as a social media graphic and caption, all ready to use. Now is also the perfect time to encourage your customers to use either frozen or fresh blueberries in Blueberry Brie Tartlets, Blueberry Mulled Wine, Blueberry Honey Cinnamon Toddy and even more celebration-worthy recipes.

Can’t get enough blueberry inspiration? Be sure to follow us @blueberries on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see what USHBC is promoting nationally. Also, don’t forget to check out other industry resources inspiring consumers to grab a boost of blue at ushbc.org/boostofblue – and stay tuned for an update on our new power periods in 2022!

‘The Business of Blueberries’ Rolls Into 2022!

It has been an exciting year for “The Business of Blueberries” as host Kasey Cronquist, president of the USHBC and NABC, has welcomed accomplished growers, icons of leadership development in the agriculture industry, foodservice professionals, USHBC staff and international blueberry leaders as guests on the podcast. Each interview resulted in compelling conversation and helpful insights for the blueberry industry.

Spotify is the #2 dedicated podcast platform used by listeners of “The Business of Blueberries,” with nearly 2,000 listens in 2021 (behind Apple Podcasts). With the podcast’s first full calendar year coming to a close, Spotify had some notable metrics to share.

Spotify created a “2021 Wrapped” recap for the podcast that included the following: This year alone, we released 1,467 minutes (or more than 24 hours worth) of content across 45 episodes. Additionally, 86 fans on Spotify listened to “The Business of Blueberries” more than any other podcast! For more interesting insights, check out the full 2021 Spotify Wrapped feature here.

Check out our podcast page for additional episodes from Season 2, and if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe on your preferred podcast platform so you don’t miss a single episode.

USHBC Launches Alexa Skill for Consumers

USHBC has launched our first-ever blueberry Alexa Skill: A Blueberry Boost!

Alexa is Amazon’s voice-activated artificial intelligence (AI) service, and a skill is like an app. Consumers can now use A Blueberry Boost to ask Alexa any questions they have about blueberries, whether they’re shopping, meal planning, baking, cooking or hosting an event. Alexa answers with pre-written responses from USHBC that include recipes, tips, kitchen hacks and more!

To help you make the most of this Alexa Skill, we’ve added a toolkit that has everything you need to promote this new feature among your audiences, including your employees. Leverage free digital content for use in digital advertising, banners on your website, newsletter content or in a variety of digital marketing materials. Blueberry industry stakeholders are encouraged to download the skill and see all that it has to offer.

“The usage of this niche skill starts with the industry,” says Jennifer Sparks, USHBC/NABC vice president of marketing and communications. “Once we get on board internally, we are more equipped to push it out to blueberry enthusiasts worldwide.”

To download the skill straight from your Alexa-enabled device (Amazon Alexa or Echo Dot), simply say, “Alexa, add the skill A Blueberry Boost,” and you are ready to ask questions.

To download the skill from a smartphone, users can open the Alexa app, tap the menu icon in the screen’s upper left corner, and then tap “Skills & Games.” On the Skills & Games screen, they can tap on the magnifying glass on top to bring up the search field, and type in the phrase “A Blueberry Boost.” Or, users can simply say to their Echo device: “Alexa, add the skill: A Blueberry Boost.”

Once enabled on the device, to use the Alexa skill, simply state the name of the skill, A Blueberry Boost, each time you ask a question, i.e., “Alexa, ask A Blueberry Boost for a recipe kids will like.” There are many different topics integrated into the skill, ranging from storage and shopping tips to flavor pairings and nutrition information.

As an industry, let’s continue to work together and inspire consumers to think “out loud” about grabbing “A Blueberry Boost” – now with the help of Alexa. USHBC has a full roll out plan in place to encourage usage through 2022. Stay tuned!