IN ADDITION to all the many titles and honors heaped upon him over the years, President Shimon Peres, at the closing session of the annual convention in Jerusalem of the Israel Hotels Association on Tuesday, received yet another title- "Distinguished Leader of the Hotel Industry." In the past this might have been attributed to Peres' frequent travels abroad and the number of different hotels that he stayed in around the world. But since he became president, there seems to be a huge influx of foreign dignitaries to Israel who want to meet with him, and who by their presence add to occupancy statistics in Israel's high class hotels. Either way, Peres has undoubtedly made a direct or indirect contribution to the hotel industry. THE NEW Hamashbir Lazarchan chain which is owned by the Shavit Group has opened an additional branch in the new One Plaza shopping mall in Beersheba. The latest link in the Hamashbir chain has a more innovative concept than its predecessors and was built at a cost of NIS 30 million. According to Nissim Hassan, a senior Hamashbir executive, the decision to open the new department store was a demonstration of confidence in the development of the south, as a well as a desire to serve the needs of the population. It is also part of the overall strategy of Hamashbir to reach out to the most peripheral areas of the country. WHILE THE week-long festival of Hanukka is in celebration of an ancient miracle, the more unmiraculous aspect of the holiday is the amount of weight we put on from scoffing down Hanukka doughnuts, some of which have close to 500 calories. Of course it's impossible to get a non-calorific doughnut, but Roladin is marketing a doughnut which it claims has only 110 calories, in the plain variety (going up to 169 with flavor and topping) and is just as tasty if not more so than its super calorific competitors. The secret: First of all it's somewhat smaller, in fact it's a mini-doughnut, but other than that its made with fiber-enriched whole-wheat flour, and is fried in canola oil, which according to Roladin CEO Kobi Hakak, makes it a health doughnut. The doughnuts, which come in a variety of flavors, were introduced on a trial basis last Hanukka in gift boxes of eight. The experiment was so successful that Roladin sold 15,000 boxes. Hakak expects to sell many more boxes of mini doughnuts this Hanukka, especially since the company has expanded its chain of pastry and coffee shops. The doughnuts can also be purchased individually, and range in price from NIS 4 to NIS 7 each. WHILE ROLADIN is courting the local Jewish market, FedEx Israel, the express delivery company which prides itself on being able to deliver anything from an envelope to cargo freight from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world in the shortest possible time, is promoting Made in Israel foodstuffs, cookbooks, office knick-knacks and cosmetics to overseas recipients. Mindful that many Israeli companies do business abroad and have a long list of people in various countries to whom they must send Christmas and/or New Year's gifts, FedEx offers not only a quick delivery service, but a choice of gifts as well. The extensive list of products can be viewed on www.newyeargifts.co.il. The cost per gift averages out at somewhere between $25 and $30, with some a little more expensive and some a little less expensive. Purchases can be made via the above-mentioned Web site or by e-mailing email@example.com or by telephoning (03) 918-7740. END OF season sales in Israel, are in general nothing like those of Europe or North America, where quality merchandise is sold at the most amazingly low prices so as to clear shelves and racks for new products. The only places in which there is a sense of this overseas Clearance Sale ambience is in the seven Azrieli Malls, which have an annual three-day Shocking Sale in which there are really no holds barred. The sales, which start November 27, will be conducted in the main public areas of the malls located in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Holon, Hod Hasharon, Herzliya, Jerusalem, and Beersheba are will offer not only huge discounts, but also two items for the price of one. Pe'er Nadir, Vice President of the Azrieli Shopping Centers noted that members of the Azrieli Shopping Club will receive the usual discount on top of any other discounts on their purchases. The Azrieli Group is in the process of launching a new Web site through which surfers will be able to win prizes and purchase vouchers. THE PROOF of the pudding is not always in the eating, but sometimes in the viewing. Meir Gal, a partner in the advertising agency of Gal Oron BSD, was disturbed by the fact that Channel 10 was screening a cooking series that featured recipes that included products forbidden to the kosher palate. Knowing that a large sector of the Israeli public would be offended by shrimp, pork and other items that are no-nos for religiously observant Jews, Oron contacted Channel 10 CEO Mudi Friedman and lodged a complaint, pointing out the high percentage of viewers who would not take kindly to such a public display of the violation of the Jewish dietary laws. Friedman proved to be very understanding, presumably because he realized the possible effect that resistance might have on ratings, and told Gal that future cooking programs would take the sensitivities of observant viewers into account. WHEN WINE experts who are among the leading German journalists on the subject write favorably about Israeli wines, it's worth more than any regular marketing campaign. After a successful series of tastings held at 28 major branches of the well known German department store chain Kaufhof, Galil Mountain Wineries hosted a group of German wine journalists and encouraged them to taste some of the company's best offerings.