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Blueberries are a boon to dairy-based desserts

For product innovation, flexibility, flavor trends and luscious taste, blueberries are a boon to dairy-based desserts.

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Blueberries are a boon to dairy-based desserts—for product innovation, flexibility, flavor trends and luscious taste. Product designers choose easy to formulate highbush blueberries for dairy products from ice cream, yogurt and frozen desserts to cheesecakes, smoothies, drinkable yogurts and milkshakes. Excellent as a topping or mixed into the product, blueberries are essential in almost anything red, white and blue, and offer intriguing effects like blue swirls, squiggles and patterns.

Intriguing ingredient pairings, such as chocolate and blueberries, blueberry with green tea, blueberry and spices, etc. provide interesting opportunities to push these treats into the healthy eating arena and to position dessert-style dishes in a whole new direction. Blueberries can transform dessert from an optional add-on to a positive and healthy pleasure. In flavor combinations with spices, botanicals, floral, citrus and herbaceous, blueberries complement and enhance as well as balance flavors. Their elusive sweetness adds excitement to smoky, caramelized or spice- and salt-accented dessert trends. Year-round versatile formats include fresh, frozen, IQF, purees, juice and osmotically preserved. Frozen and IQF blueberries can be ground directly into mixes to impart rich blueberry flavor and show lots of blueberry in the skin.

From babies to baby-boomer concerns, the demographics of calcium-enrichment are inspiring blueberry-laced dairy-based sweets and treats. Consumers like the fact that blueberries are a natural ingredient, nothing added, no preservatives. They equate blueberries with antioxidants and readily accept them as ingredients in products. The blueberry image is used to imbue products with a virtuous and planet-friendly aura. Research shows that consumers are willing to pay more for products that contain real blueberries over imitation blue bits. 

For more: U. S. Highbush Blueberry Council www.blueberry.org; bberry@blueberry.org.

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