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California grape industry looks to capitalize on popularity of fruit as top snack

According to a recent snacking study, fresh fruit is not only the top snack food consumed in America, it is also one of the fastest growing.

The study results, conducted by The NPD Group, are not surprising to California's table grape farmers, who have been promoting Grapes from California as the "Original Super Snack" all season and are expected to announce record-breaking shipping numbers at the end of January.

Grapes cheese"This is good news for Americans and the California table grape industry," Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission, based in Fresno, said in a press release. "California's table grape growers have been promoting grapes as a healthy snack for decades and are proud to be a significant part of this change for the better in America's healthy snacking habits."

To demonstrate how easy it is to incorporate more fruit into their snacking routines in 2012, the California table grape industry created five fresh snack concepts using California grapes — grape, ricotta, and honey pita pizza; grapes in port wine sauce; grape, cheddar and jicama skewers with cilantro lime dipping sauce; frozen grape and banana kebabs with chocolate drizzle; and grapes in a canoe (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with grapes), which can all be found at www.grapesfromcalifornia.com.

The commission's plans for the 2013 season include more healthy ideas featuring grapes from California as the "one ingredient that can change everything" when it comes to snacking and mealtime planning, according to the press release.