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Press release from Business Wire

Heinz Increases Focus on T.G.I. Friday's Frozen Snacks and Appetizers

<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>New T.G.I. Friday's Mac & Cheese Wedges Join Frozen Snacks and Appetizers Line Up</b></i> </p>

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Heinz Increases Focus on T.G.I. Friday's Frozen Snacks and Appetizers14:01 EST Wednesday, March 07, 2012 PITTSBURGH (Business Wire) -- H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) is significantly strengthening its focus on the T.G.I. Friday's line of frozen snacks and appetizers by increasing its investment in marketing and product development in fiscal year 2013. The brand's newest snack and appetizer item, T.G.I. Friday's Mac & Cheese Wedges, capitalizes on the comfort food trend by taking one of America's favorite comfort foods and turning it into an easy to prepare and fun to eat snack. T.G.I. Friday's Mac & Cheese Wedges (Photo: Business Wire) Heinz and T.G.I. Friday's have a successful licensing partnership that has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past 11 years. The T.G.I. Friday's frozen portfolio is a $250 million business for Heinz and the fourth largest brand in the Heinz U.S. Consumer Products portfolio. “The T.G.I. Friday's brand is an important growth driver for our North American business,” said Scott O'Hara, President and CEO, Heinz North America. “The frozen snacks and appetizer line is the segment of the T.G.I. Friday's business with the highest growth and profit potential and most favorable consumer dynamics, which is why we have chosen to focus our efforts on this category.” The latest snacks and appetizer innovation capitalizes on one of America's favorite comfort foods. T.G.I. Friday's frozen Mac & Cheese Wedges combine macaroni pasta with a creamy cheddar, Parmesan and Romano cheese sauce and are coated in a crispy breading. This innovative new product that embodies the fun and flavor of the T.G.I. Friday's brand begins shipping this month and will be available at major retailers in a 15.5 oz box for a suggested retail price of $5.99. “The ability to leverage such a well-known and loved restaurant brand in retail has added tremendous value to our frozen portfolio of products,” said David Ciesinski, Group Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Heinz U.S. Consumer Products. “The T.G.I. Friday's frozen snacks and appetizers product line continues to be a robust and growing business for Heinz and remains a cornerstone of our frozen portfolio.” “Heinz and T.G.I. Friday's are long-time partners, and our licensing relationship will continue to flourish as we work to reflect in our retail products the significant culinary innovation and development taking place in our restaurants,” said Ricky Richardson, Chief Operating Officer, Carlson Restaurants. “Heinz continues to work with us to develop delicious and flavorful snack products that enable our guests to bring home that Friday feeling any day of the week.” About HeinzH.J. Heinz Company, offering “Good Food Every Day”™ is one of the world's leading marketers and producers of healthy, convenient and affordable foods specializing in ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant nutrition. Heinz provides superior quality, taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether in the home, restaurants, the office or “on-the-go.” Heinz is a global family of leading branded products, including Heinz® Ketchup, sauces, soups, beans, pasta and infant foods (representing over one third of Heinz's total sales), Ore-Ida® potato products, Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® entrees, T.G.I. Friday's® snacks and appetizers, and Plasmon infant nutrition. Heinz is famous for its iconic brands on six continents, showcased by Heinz® Ketchup, The World's Favorite Ketchup®. About T.G.I. Friday'sT.G.I. Friday's offers a unique, casual experience delivering on its brand promise of “In Here it's ALWAYS Friday” melding authentic and imaginative American food, exciting and innovative drinks and a one of a kind service experience to provide liberation from the everyday -- turning any day into a FRIDAY! It is also famous for its knowledgeable and charismatic bartenders, nearly 8,000 of whom compete annually for the title of the “Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World.” As the original casual dining restaurant, Friday's delights guests in more than 900 restaurants across more than 60 countries around the globe. For more information, visit www.fridays.com. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50196222&lang=en Heinz North AmericaJessica Jackson, 412-237-3562Jessica.Jackson@us.hjheinz.comorPeppercomNicole Bott, 212-931-6168tgif@peppercom.com