Hurray, hurray, there they are at last! Blood, sweat and the occasional tear (from Stephen) this project has cost us but we are very proud of the result: 3 delicious Açai bowl mixes with which you can conjure up your favorite Açai dish on the table in less than 3 minutes. Why the development of this range was so challenging, we tell you briefly in this blog.

The Açai berry challenge

Açai, a fantastic berry species with a special nutritional profile. The berries grow wild in the Amazon forest, which helps explain why this primordial berry is so nutritious. What nutrients there are in Açai, we do not have to repeat here. We have already dedicated a whole page to it on our website (about Açai).
You can vary endlessly with these top berries and they are so nutritious that hunger will stay away for hours. BUT … there is one aspect of Açai that poses a great challenge: in less than a day after picking, the berries are spoiled.
Specifically, there is not a minute to waste during the processing process. Picking, pitting and freezing the Açai pulp or grinding it into powder. It goes so fast that even many Brazilians (who have the Açai palms in their backyard, so to speak) have never eaten fresh Açai.

De Açai pack challenge

If you are reading this blog, you may have already heard, seen or tasted our Açai pulp packs.
These are the Holy Berry originals, for the Açai pioneers of the first hour. They come in 2 varieties: 100g packs with pure Açai pulp and 100g packs with Açai pulp and some guarana juice. The packs are the size of an average cell phone and when they come out of the freezer they are so hard that you could smash a door with them. Making an Açai bowl with these packs is not difficult, you just have to get the hang of it. Here’s a well thought out tip: Let the packs thaw for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start working with them. From the moment you can break the pulp into the pack, the pack is “ready to mix” and the preparation goes very smoothly. You mix this semi-frozen Açai pulp with other (fresh or frozen) fruit and some juice or vegetable yoghurt (/milk) to a delicious fresh and creamy whole that you finish off with granola and other toppings. You can also let such a packet melt, then it becomes more like an Açai coulis, which you can easily mix under yogurt, oatmeal, add to a smoothie or…. pour into your mouth in one gulp (yes, there are people who actually do this). These 100g Açai pulp packs can be found in most health food stores (check our points of sale) and are the real deal for anyone who wants to build their Açai bowl in complete freedom.

Our challenge

Now this all seems easy and stress-free but from the many testimonials, questions and “cries for help” it doesn’t always seem that way. People, at home or in the kitchen of a restaurant, are sometimes so enthusiastic or in a hurry when making an Açai bowl that mixing the frozen Açai pulp sometimes causes some problems. Well, dear (impatient) Açai lovers, for this situation we wanted to find a solution.
We took a close look at the process and asked a few Açai addicts in our immediate surroundings which proverbial barriers they experience in the preparation of their favorite Açai dish and this was our top 4:
1. Either they didn’t let the pulp thaw enough which made mixing difficult or they let the pulp thaw too much which caused the granola they sprinkled on top to sink to the bottom of their bowl after 1 minute (read: too liquid).
2. There are many ways to cut open the bag of pulp but they still had not found the right way (result: clothes and kitchen full of Açai)
3. Choice stress or no choice: Which fruit do we add to the Açai?
4. Time is money and especially in the morning so points 1 to 3 are 3 too many.
Great success !
With this input we started experimenting, tasting and mailing back and forth to partners who could help us and yes, we did it! We developed 3 Açai products that are so easy to use that you can start your day full of energy but also completely zen.
We removed the first threshold by giving the Açai pulp its berry-like shape back. These Açai pulp balls mix so smoothly and are easy to proportion.
The second threshold has been eliminated even faster because now you can just cut open the bags and pour them out.
For the third threshold, we didn’t take any chances. The question “Which fruit goes best with Açai?” was answered differently by several people, which did not make the final choice any easier. What we did know for sure was that – for the 2 Açai bowl variants with other fruit – at least 2 thirds of the product had to consist of Açai. Only then do you get the health benefits of Açai and a delicious, strong, healthy drink.
And the fourth barrier was nicely wiped away by tackling the first three with the result that you can make delicious Açai bowls and smoothies for the whole family in less than 5 minutes!
All you have to do now is run to one of our Delhaize points of sale, choose from our 3 heavenly Açai bowl mixes andstart the morning full of healthy energy!