H.J. Heinz Company to Locate Manufacturing Facility in Florence

June 3, 2008

New Plant to Bring 350 Jobs to Florence County

COLUMBIA, S.C. – June 3, 2008 – The Florence County Economic Development Partnership and the South Carolina Department of Commerce today announced that H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), a global food manufacturer, will build a manufacturing facility in Florence County.  The company plans to create 350 jobs at its new Florence County operations.

“Our frozen meals business is growing rapidly and the new facility is a sign of our commitment to supporting and sustaining this growth,” said Dave Moran, EVP, President and CEO of Heinz North America.  “The new facility will allow us to increase production of our Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® and Boston Market® frozen entrées to meet the growing consumer demand for high-quality frozen meals.”

H.J. Heinz Company will locate its manufacturing operations on a 49-acre site in the Pee Dee Commerce City Park in Florence, with construction of the facility scheduled for completion in late summer of 2009.  Heinz will manufacture frozen food products at the new facility to meet increased customer demands.  The new facility will also support the company’s Southeast and Northeast distribution centers.

“As we work to compete in a global economy, South Carolina’s ability to attract world-class companies is increasingly important.  This announcement certainly speaks to the state’s success in that regard. As well, this news demonstrates the fact that the efforts made to improve the business climate are working to attract new investments and jobs to South Carolina.  We remain committed to continuing to work to enhance the economic soil conditions to allow more businesses to grow and thrive in our state,” said Gov. Mark Sanford.   

Heinz is the most global U.S.-based food company, with a world-class portfolio of powerful brands holding number-one and number-two market positions in more than 50 countries. The Heinz brand is a $2.5 billion global icon and Heinz’s top-15 power brands account for two-thirds of annual sales.

“Heinz is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded foods to retail and foodservice outlets.  The company’s decision to locate in our state further demonstrates that South Carolina’s business-friendly climate, access to markets and workforce are working favorably to attract more marquee names to our state.  Thanks to the team efforts of local and state officials, the entire Pee Dee area will benefit from this investment and the state will gain a valued new member of the business community,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

The company will utilize readySC™, the state’s worker training program, which has been nationally recognized for its ability to offer customized training for businesses. 

“As the State Senator and resident of Florence County, I am delighted that another world-class manufacturing operation has chosen to establish a presence in our community,” said Senator Hugh K. Leatherman.  “Heinz joins a growing list of blue chip companies that recognize what a competitive location the Pee Dee region is to do business.  We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship for many years to come.”

“This is a great day for Florence County,” said Florence County Council chairman, K.G. “Rusty” Smith.  “Heinz is an outstanding company with an impeccable reputation that will provide quality jobs for the citizens of this community.  The Heinz name is one of the most recognizable in the world, and we are proud and honored to have the company as our newest corporate citizen.”

About Heinz

H. J. Heinz Company, offering “Good Food Every Day”™ is one of the world’s leading marketers and producers of healthy and convenient 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® entrées, Boston Market® meals, T.G.I. Friday’s® frozen snacks and Plasmon® infant nutrition.  Heinz is famous for its iconic brands on five continents, showcased by Heinz® Ketchup, The World’s Favorite Ketchup®. Information on Heinz is available at www.heinz.com.