Visiting Michigan Blueberry Country

Topics in this issue of Behind the Blue:

Visiting Michigan Blueberry Country

It’s been over 14 months since the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way we do just about everything. Like other organizations, USHBC pivoted its approach to engaging with the blueberry industry, finding innovative ways to share the work being done with stakeholders in a virtual environment. Last week, however, things began to shift again, and the USHBC team traveled to Michigan for its first series of in-person grower events and meetings in over a year. 

USHBC/NABC President Kasey Cronquist shares background about the organizations with Michigan blueberry growers and industry leaders.

USHBC President Kasey Cronquist and Director of Communications and Industry Relations Jill Scofield visited the Great Lakes State at the invitation of the Michigan Blueberry Commission and Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee for a series of meetings with growers and industry leadership, farm tours and meaningful conversations. Throughout the week, USHBC had the chance to share more about the work being done on a national and global scale to increase demand for blueberries, and offer industry stakeholders a chance to ask questions of and engage with USHBC staff and leadership. 

“This was a powerful reminder of how important it is for us to meet in person with our industry partners,” shared Kasey Cronquist. “It’s been a long year in which we’ve had to find creative ways to engage with the industry, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve all missed the chance for these kinds of experiences. Our visit to Michigan was informative, educational and productive, and from it came some good conversations about where our industry is headed. I’m looking forward to visiting other states and regions throughout the country in the coming months.”

The USHBC will keep moving forward with in-person stakeholder meetings. To learn more about upcoming industry events and meetings, or to inquire about scheduling a similar event in your region, contact us at [email protected]

Blueberries Give Brain Health Month a Boost

Taking the time to focus on brain health is vital, and USHBC is helping consumers find more ways to grab a boost of blue during Brain Health Month in June. Enjoying fresh and frozen blueberries daily is one of the small choices that, as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, may add up to support brain health. Throughout the month, USHBC’s new promotional campaign will highlight recipes, resources, nutrition information and health research that spotlight blueberries as a deliciously simple, snackable and healthy option. 

The month-long campaign features blueberry promotions such as videos, social media content, email marketing and digital advertising, including original content developed by program spokesperson Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, and USHBC’s “Blue Crew” health professional partners. Additional promotional initiatives in the month of June include co-branded retail activations with California Walnuts and expanded activities with year-round partner, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). USHBC is collaborating with California Walnuts and a selective group of retailers to encourage consumers to “grab a boost of blue and walnuts, too!”

“Brain health is a vital aspect of our overall health. It’s important to identify and act on the small, health-conscious steps we can take each day, such as focusing our daily diet on nutritious foods like blueberries,” said Jennifer Sparks, USHBC vice president of marketing and communications. “We find it rewarding to partner with trusted health professionals and help consumers – from busy parents on the go to active weekenders to trendsetters experimenting in the kitchen – find new ways to enjoy blueberries each day. Grabbing a boost of blue has never been easier or more delicious.”

The Brain Health Month promotional campaign is one of six “power periods” that support Grab a Boost of Blue, a strategic positioning and call to action backed by new tools and consumer research for retailers. Grab a Boost of Blue is designed to inspire and motivate consumers to enjoy more of the blueberries they love, in more ways and more often – ultimately driving demand and increasing sales. Retailers, food and nutrition professionals, and industry stakeholders are encouraged to participate and inspire their audiences to think about brain health using the engaging, easy-to-use content developed by USHBC, including social media images, digital ads and other resources. The toolkit is available here.

To learn about the full breadth of programs throughout Brain Health Month, read USHBC’s press release here

Happy National Blueberry Cheesecake Day!

USHBC wishes you a happy National Blueberry Cheesecake Day! This fun occasion provides another reminder to motivate consumers to enjoy more of the fruit they love by buying or baking a blueberry cheesecake. Download and share USHBC’s social image, and be sure to tag, and be sure to tag @blueberries and include #boostofblue, for a chance to be recognized as an industry champion in upcoming communications.