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NOT ALL FRESH FRUITS ARE CREATED EQUAL, ACCORDING TO CONSUMERS

 Survey Reveals Strong Preference for Vitamin-Packed,
 Domestically Grown Fresh Fruit
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of Americans (59.9 percent) rank nutrition as a key consideration when it comes to selecting fresh fruit, according to a recent national consumer survey. And while more than one in three fruits consumed in the United States are imported (according to 1990 USDA statistics), 91.8 percent of survey respondents said they prefer U.S.-grown produce.
 Interestingly, when consumers were asked which fruit provides the most vitamin C -- oranges, grapefruit or kiwifruit -- only 18.3 percent correctly identified the fuzzy-skinned kiwifruit, which provides 230 percent of the U.S.-recommended daily allowance of vitamin C per serving. Some 53 percent of respondents picked oranges, which offer only half the vitamin C.
 "The strength that kiwifruit holds in the nutrition category is becoming more widely recognized each season," said veteran produce marketing researcher Edd Buckley, of Chicago-based Associated Marketing, which conducted the survey among some 5,000 consumers nationwide.
 Kiwifruit were recently named one of the top ten fruit choices based on nutrition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). In addition to their high vitamin C content, kiwifruit are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and other essential nutrients. What's more, they are naturally low in fat and calories and contain no sodium or cholesterol.
 Besides taste and nutrition, other notable fruit selection criteria include appearance (54.1 percent), easy preparation/no mess (22.9 percent) and portability (9 percent). And while their outer beauty is somewhat debatable, kiwifruit boast an appealing emerald green interior and are both portable and easy to prepare -- simply slice, scoop or bite right in.
 Kiwifruit skin is indeed edible, as noted by 15.4 percent of respondents. Ninety-seven percent of respondents knew that the skin of an apple can be eaten, while fewer (82.8 percent) said the same for the peach.
 Parents rank kiwifruit among their children's top seven favorite fruits, according to the survey. Apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, peaches and kiwifruit were preferred to pears, plums, watermelon, nectarines, cherries, cantaloupe, pineapples and grapefruit.
 And despite the perception that fresh produce costs more during the winter (a belief held by 91.1 percent of respondents), many of the fresh fruits available during the winter months are both domestically grown and of comparable cost to spring and summer fruit.
 Available November through May, California kiwifruit are reasonably priced, despite their stereotype as a luxury fruit. Nationwide, the average retail price is 33 cents per fruit. Quite often, produce aisle specials allow consumers to purchase multiple pieces of kiwifruit for around $1.
 For more information, recipes and facts about California kiwifruit, consumers may send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: California Kiwifruit Commission, 1540 River Park Dr., Suite 110, Sacramento, CA 95815.
 -0- 2/22/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Houston of California Kiwifruit Commission, 916-929-5314; or Andrea Hanson of Porter/Novelli, 310-444-7000, for California Kiwifruit Commission/


CO: California Kiwifruit Commission ST: California IN: FOD SU:

LS-EH -- LAFNS1 -- 8757 02/22/93 07:31 EST
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Date:Feb 22, 1993
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