Unfortunately, not as far as I can see. The documentation in the book does not cover this (importing into a SQLite dbase is covered...but importing into a database created by Core Data is not...and apparently you aren't supposed to directly access the database created by Core Data as you would a regular SQLite dbase). For Apple documentation, there is an article on their site concerning importing data (see link below), but I don't understand how this would work to pre-populate the database before shipping.
I find the above article confusing, but others more knowledgeable than myself - including the author of the article you mentioned previously - apparently have not found a direct way to import these records. I even saw a couple of posts advising that this be suggested to Apple as a feature. Of the methods I did find online, typically they are a work around / 'hack' that may break in the future. However, I was hoping for something that was recommended by Apple and would (hopefully) not break in the future.
At this point, I'm thinking that I won't be able to use Core Data. Unfortunately, though, this doesn't seem like the right approach. Nevertheless, I need these records actually imported into the database...so if Core Data cannot do this in a safe manner, I don't see what other options I have.
Any advice would be appreciated.