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Consumer

ConsumerWatch: Can Sweeter Fruit Take Place Of Candy?

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BAKERSFIELD (KPIX 5) – Americans spend $29 billion dollars on candy every year. Now, deep in the fields of Bakersfield, there’s a grower who’s trying to take a bite out of that market with new, sweeter kinds of grapes that taste like cotton candy, mango, and lemonade.

The sweeter grapes are the result of ten years of specialized breeding and pollination by Grapery, a central California grower hoping to appeal to Americans seeking healthier alternatives to sugary sweets. Grapery horticulturalist Dr. David Cain said the process is all natural. There is no altering of genes or adding artificial flavors. The designer grapes have about 12% more sugar than table grapes.

But there’s a limit on how far the grower will go.

“You’re not going to find anything like chocolate or M&M type flavors,” Grapery CEO Jim Beagle told ConsumerWatch. “Just a lot of interesting fruit flavors.”

The designer fruit also comes with a luxury pricetag – about $6 a pound. In test markets, it’s doing so well Grapery has increased production from two to 100 acres to harvest next year.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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