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» April 6, 2005 «
In a further sign of recovery for the wine business, a trade group reported yesterday (Tuesday) that sales of California wines increased both at home and abroad. The Wine Institute says the state's wineries shipped a record 428 million gallons within the U.S. last year, and sales to foreign customers rose more than 20 percent. The Wine Institute reports steady gains in demand, but says California wines face increasing competition from foreign wines.
More than half of California adults are overweight, and a state report says a growing obesity crisis costs nearly $22 billion dollars annually in lost productivity and medical bills. The state Department of Health Services released the report yesterday. State Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura urged Californians to eat healthier diets, and the California Farm Bureau noted that the state's consumers benefit from unique access to plentiful fruit and vegetable supplies.
Fast-food restaurants have been adding fresh fruit to their menus, with California-grown apples now among the fruit McDonald's sells as an alternative to french fries. The California Apple Commission says that fast-food sales help all apple growers, while providing nutritious food to consumers. McDonald's also plans an apple-and-walnut salad meal, to be introduced later this spring. The Wendy's chain now sells fruit bowls that feature grapes, melon and pineapple.
Responding to consumers' desire for convenience, a California firm plans to begin selling peach-cobbler kits. The kits will contain ripe peaches and a dry mix of cobbler ingredients. Consumers slice the fruit, add butter to the mix and bake the cobbler. The company says it plans to debut the cobbler kits at a trade show this month, and begin selling them this spring.Top