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UNITED AIRLINES INTRODUCES NEW MEALS WITH FLAIR; OFFERINGS EMPHASIZE TASTE AND APPEARANCE WHILE MEETING DIETETIC AND RELIGIOUS NEEDS

 CHICAGO, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines will begin offering an expanded menu of 20 exciting special meal groups on July 1 to meet the dietetic and religious needs of customers worldwide.
 "There are millions of people in this country and overseas who have by choice or necessity become increasingly selective in the foods they use in their homes, in restaurants and on airplanes," said Patrick W. O'Brien, vice president-catering for United. "We are responding to the changing marketplace in offering a wider selection of special meals designed to be tasty and visually attractive as they meet health and religious requirements."
 "Special meals" is the airline term for customized meals for passengers who are seeking or avoiding specific food ingredients to meet health or religious needs. They are available on 1,600 daily United flights on which meals are served including breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Special meals must be individually ordered at least six hours in advance of flight time.
 New meal categories being offered by United beginning next month include Hindu, Moslem, vegan (pure vegetarian), low-purine (for someone suffering from the gout), non-lactose or milk-free, low protein (for those with kidney and liver disorders), high fiber, obento (a chilled Japanese meal) and gluten-free. Obento meals are available on all flights between the United States and Japan, Japan and Hong Kong, and Japan to Singapore.
 The popularity of special meals is increasing. Last year, United served more than 2 million special meals (6,000 per day) or 3.5 percent of the 70 million total meals served in flight, a significant increase from a decade ago.
 The most popular special meals are traveler's lighter choice, which typically is a seafood plate, fruit plate or chef's salad. Second in popularity are vegetarian meals.
 The new special meals were developed over a nine-month period by a team of United chefs, top outside consultants including certified master chefs Victor Gielisse, food author and proprietor of the restaurant Actuelle in Dallas, and Hartmuth Handke, of Handke's Cuisine in Columbus, Ohio, and United's own in-house registered dietitian.
 Menus were specifically designed around the standards of such prominent organizations as the American Dietetic Association, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Also factored in were the comments of numerous United customers worldwide.
 "What customers will find with our new meals is they will be appetizing as well as responsive to dietary and religious dictates," O'Brien said. "In ordering a special meal versus a standard meal, the customer will not be faced with any compromise in appearance or taste to get a meal meeting his or her special needs. We anticipate the popularity of special meals will continue to grow."
 United also will introduce branded products to its special meals offerings. Among them are Elwood dietary preserves, Georgia International dietary salad dressings, Healthy Foods low-fat caramel corn as a snack, and Butter Buds as a replacement for margarine.
 Here are examples of new special meals being offered by United:
 BREAKFAST
 A diabetic continental breakfast includes a fresh fruit appetizer, a sliced turkey breast cold plate with vegetable garnish, plain yogurt, a crusty white roll with diet fruit preserves and a margarine pat and sugar substitute. The nutritional content of this meal is 450 calories, 29 grams of protein (25 percent), 50 grams of carbohydrates (45 percent) and 15 grams of fat (30 percent).
 A vegan pure vegetarian breakfast includes a fresh fruit appetizer, tortilla shell with mushroom mung bean melange, spicy tomato fondue, couscous with raisins and mushrooms, a crusty white roll with fruit preserves and a non-dairy margarine pat. Nutritional content includes 450 calories and 15 grams of fat (30 percent).
 LUNCH
 A Moslem main meal includes gazpacho soup, lavosh, garden salad with assorted dressings, herbed chicken with lentil ragout and pea pods, a crusty white roll with margarine pat, and angel food cake with strawberries.
 An obento meal includes swordfish kobujime and amaebi shrimp appetizer, wrapped in kelp, rice, beef tenderloin tataki, Japanese vegetables, soba noodles and green tea.
 DINNER
 A gluten-free main meal includes a selection of aged cheeses, garden salad with a lemon wedge, grilled turkey breast medallions with caper sauce, brown rice, broccoli florets, carrot, turnip, rutabaga sticks and fresh fruit.
 SNACK
 A low-sodium snack includes a garden salad with low-sodium vinaigrette salad dressing, whole wheat crusted chicken breast with cucumber salsa, a crusty white roll with margarine pat and fresh fruit.
 A salt substitute, Mrs. Dash, is also included.
 -0- 6/30/93
 /CONTACT: United Airlines Corporate Communications: John Kiker, 708-952-4162, or Joe Hopkins, 708-952-5770, or Night, 708-952-4088; Investor Relations Contact: Pamela Hanlon, 708-952-7501/
 (UAL)


CO: United Airlines ST: Illinois IN: AIR SU: PDT

LR -- NY045 -- 7172 06/30/93 12:37 EDT
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Date:Jun 30, 1993
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