Fans of blueberries officially have a fresh way to share their love of their favorite berry: the new blueberry emoji was included in the latest set released by the Unicode Consortium and made available on devices this month. In a recent national survey, 46% of adults associated a blueberry emoji with happiness, and another 19% associated it with being hungry. To encourage use of the emoji, spread the joy and inspire purchase, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council will be engaging consumers through a variety of social media content and promotions.
“Consumers enjoy using emoji to add context – and pops of color – to their communications. We are thrilled that they now have such a vivid way to show their love for blueberries and spread a little happiness,” said Kasey Cronquist, president, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. “The USHBC is committed to helping blueberry growers, marketers and industry stakeholders grow demand for blueberries by using the new emoji to fuel consumer interest and grow market share.”
To help the blueberry industry capitalize on this new marketing tool, the USHBC developed resources to support strategic use of the new emoji. The Emoji Toolkit provides best practices for emoji usage; pre- designed, pre-written social posts; and downloadable large-size, high-res emoji files for promotions and signage.
Blueberries continue to make a strong showing in consumer shopping carts: the dollar growth for blueberries is more than seven times the average of the top 15 fruit and vegetable categories sold in retail. This level of demand reflects the popularity of blueberries, which factored into the addition of a blueberry emoji to the standard set. Proposals for new emoji must be submitted by the public to the Unicode Consortium and demonstrate significant relevance of the emoji to the general public.
With the blueberry emoji’s release, blueberry fans will get to decide for themselves how they want to use it. Consumers already have some ideas about what messages with the blueberry emoji might mean, even without context. Respondents in the national survey by Pollfish indicated that if they see a blueberry emoji on its own, they might assume:
- It signifies happiness and hunger.
- The sender either wanted to eat blueberries or was already eating blueberries.
- They should add blueberries to their shopping list.
- The sender was making or eating dessert with blueberries in it.
- They were being asked to breakfast or brunch.
In 2020, Classic Blueberry was named Flavor of the Year and Classic Blue was designated Color of the Year. The emoji release rounds out the national recognition for blueberries, and USHBC will continue to leverage these milestones and provide additional resources to industry stakeholders through Q4 and beyond.