The first pallet of California blueberries, marketed under T&G Global’s Orchard Rd brand, will arrive in Ho Chi Minh City this week after Vietnam granted access to US blueberries, according to the company.
Vietnam officially granted access on 15 February and following the first shipment, T&G Global expects multiple pallets will be exported to Vietnam every week until the end of the season in September.
While this first delivery contains 192 trays of Californian berries, Orchard Rd blueberries will be supplied from growers in Oregon and Washington in the coming weeks.
Piers Hanbury, North America commercial manager of T&G Global, said the company had been exporting grapes and apples to Vietnam for the past ten years from different supply origins.
Adding US berries to the mix has only reinforced the company’s presence in the market and allowed it to leverage existing customer relationships, he said.
Vietnam is a fast growing market of 95 million people and blueberries are a relatively new product for Vietnamese consumers.
However, T&G Global says research already shows the berries are recognised as a superfood and as a beauty aid for the skin. Appealing benefits for educated consumers who are attracted to premium imported fruits and demand higher-quality food which is convenient. This is the demographic the company wants to capture with its US blueberries.
“We are confident that this will become a significant market in future for us,” said Hanbury.
“It will likely take some time to educate consumers about the benefits of blueberries but in time it could take off like it has in China and other Asian markets.”