USHBC has launched media campaigns and events throughout Asia, promoting awareness of U.S. blueberry availability, their health benefits and versatility. These activities were made possible by the Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) Program, which was established by the Trump Administration to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation and trade disruption from other countries.
To promote U.S. blueberries in South Korea, USHBC hosted a “Food Talk” event in partnership with a Korean monthly women’s magazine, Styler (https://www.stylermag.co.kr/). A Korean celebrity, Ms. Jung-soo Byun, and famous chef, Ms. Milly, led the event. Thirty popular social media food influencers attended. They shared information about the health benefits of blueberries, and demonstrated five recipes using fresh and frozen blueberries. Ms. Jung-soo Byun shared that blueberries are a part of her diet to keep her healthy as she ages.
Leading up to the event, Ms. Jung-soo Byun visited a local Emart supermarket selling U.S. blueberries, and posted photos and videos to her social media accounts, including Instagram and YouTube. Following the event, Styler Magazine issued a two-page spread promoting the event and U.S. blueberries. Emart reported their fresh blueberry sales jumped immediately after the event, suggesting the influence of USHBC’s promotional activities on consumer purchasing behavior.
In Malaysia, USHBC launched a media campaign titled, “Little Blue Champions,” in partnership with Village Grocer supermarket chain and Malaysian celebrity Miss Linora Low, famous in the health and fitness community. During the opening event at the My Town Shopping Center in Kuala Lumpur, Miss Low demonstrated two healthy recipes using blueberries and shared their health benefits. Twenty-eight media representatives attended the event. USDA FAS Agricultural Attaché Bill Verzani also spoke at the event, and highlighted the importance of Malaysia to the U.S. highbush blueberry industry.
In July 2019, the Trump Administration announced another round of trade promotion funding. USHBC was originally allocated $259,953 for 2019 activities, and was awarded an additional $350,000 to spend in 2020, for a total of $609,953.
USHBC utilizes USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Trade Program funding to promote awareness of U.S. blueberry availability and health benefits throughout Asia, including Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia.