US: Will goldenberries transform from niche to mainstream?

2015 marks the first year of goldenberries being imported to the US without the necessary cold treatment. Close to Colombia’s capital Bogotá, at 2,200 meters elevation, the Colombian government together with Aphis have declared a fruit-fly free area that is very suitable for growing goldenberries.

Year-round supplies
“We source our goldenberries exclusively from this area in Colombia,” says Andres Ocampo with HLB Specialties. The growing area is very close to the equator with excellent circumstances for year-round supplies. HLB partners with one of the largest growers in that area, allowing for steady supplies throughout the year.

Unique presentation for food service
Ocampo believes there is a lot of potential for goldenberries to reach US foodservice customers. “Chefs like to work with goldenberries covered in husk as it provides opportunities for a unique presentation.” The versatile fruit allows for innovative desserts, creative drinks as well as different salads. 

Improved shelf-life supports food retail
For retail stores on the other hand, Ocampo sees an opportunity to add them to their berry line. “Previously, when goldenberries required two weeks of cold treatment, their shelf-life wasn’t long enough for retailers to give consumers adequate time to try the fruit,” said Ocampo. The improved shelf-life gives customers more time to try it out.

“The peeled, yellow berry makes for a great addition to any dish and the sour, tart flavor is a really nice contrast with more sweet fruit varieties,” adds Ocampo. To make the consumer more familiar with goldenberries, HLB Specialties has done a number of in-store demos at Whole Foods Market stores in Florida. “Kids loved the appearance and out of all people who tried it, 95 percent said they liked it,” mentioned Ocampo. 

In addition to the taste, goldenberries have an anti-inflammatory benefit and contain anti-oxidants as well as a low glycemic score. The last attribute makes it an ideal fruit variety for diabetics who still want to enjoy a piece of fruit. “We have started the beginning of a process to make consumers familiar with it.”

HLB’s sister company in Germany, HLB Tropical Food GmbH, distributes goldenberries in Europe, where they are referred to as Physalis

For more information:
Andres Ocampo
HLB Specialties
Tel: (+1) 954-475-8808

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