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HEINZ CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCES GROWTH PLAN

 ATLANTA, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of the H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) today told securities analysts they could anticipate an aggressive network television advertising campaign for Heinz tomato ketchup this summer.
 He included the announcement in a detailed outline of strategies Heinz has developed to build its leading brands, its global markets and its profit margins.
 Addressing the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts, Inc., Anthony J.F. O'Reilly, Heinz chairman, president and chief executive officer, said that Heinz U.S.A. will launch a new network TV advertising campaign in midsummer, using the "Anticipation" theme that has remained a hallmark of the brand since its introduction two decades ago.
 "Television viewers will again be hearing a rendition of the ever-popular song `Anticipation,' written by Carly Simon," Dr. O'Reilly announced. "This new initiative follows the theme of television commercials we aired in the early '70s."
 He noted that although nearly two decades have passed since the last commercial using "Anticipation," the vast majority of consumers surveyed by Heinz still associate the music and lyrics with Heinz ketchup.
 The executive also talked of new tomato products, including Salsa Ketchup and Heinz Thick and Chunky Salsa. The new varieties, along with the re-sizing of the traditional ketchup line, will provide Heinz's leading brand with fresh growth opportunities.
 Global Appetites
 In the speech, which was entitled "Global Appetites and Heinz," O'Reilly stated that "Heinz is in a much stronger position today than it was a year ago due to a program of investment in factories, marketing and training employees. We have strong momentum in our big brands... We have winning strategies for our three major markets in North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific."
 O'Reilly discussed the dramatic successes of the company's major brands in terms of market share and volume gains. He noted that Heinz ketchup attained a market share of 51.1 percent and that the company's Weight Watchers brand frozen entrees recorded a "near historic high with a 16.7 percent market share during the critical January diet season."
 StarKist consolidated its leadership in tuna, with a total market share of 41.5 percent. Ore-Ida improved its position for 13 consecutive months to reach a retail share of 46.9 percent.
 The market share for Heinz Pet Products cat and dog foods is up at more than 24 percent. "And, very importantly, in spite of lower prices, this year will be one of the most profitable in the history of Heinz Pet Products," noted J.W. Connolly, a Heinz senior vice president who joined O'Reilly in the presentation.
 O'Reilly commented that the company this year spent more than $1.5 billion on marketing, a figure higher than the previous year. "That's what marketing battles necessitate and we feel that the battles cost our competitors even more," he said. "Above all, I do not believe any competitor underestimates our determination to defend our brand leadership, whatever the short-term cost."
 A `Stock for All Seasons'
 The second longest-serving CEO in his food industry peer group, O'Reilly commented on the advantages of investing in the food sector. "The food industry has been a repository of value over the 20 years I have been a senior manager," the company chairman said. "(Our industry) is not just recession-proof, but also is profit-prone."
 O'Reilly further explained that investors in food stocks over the last 10 years enjoyed positive total returns in each year. Compounding returns for the Standard & Poor's Food Index resulted in an equivalent annual return nearly 6 percent higher than the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. He then noted: "Total returns for Heinz were also positive in each year and when compounded, yielded an equivalent annual return more than 8 percent better than the S&P 500 Index. Moreover, in 1992, Heinz was the best performing stock amongst our peer group with an increase year to year of 13.5 percent."
 O'Reilly called Heinz, "in the idiom of Shakespeare, a `stock for all seasons.' We respond to basic dietary needs around the world with our ketchup, our soups, our tuna, our baby food and our potato products. We are at the cutting edge of nutrition and health with Weight Watchers. We have strong, secure brands in Europe. We have enormous growth potential in Asia/Pacific, where, with the acquisition of Wattie's Limited of New Zealand, we are driving for a $1 billion business within the next two years."
 Wattie's, which processes a range of canned and frozen foods, represents the Heinz Company's largest-ever overseas investment. "Most importantly, the purchase is propelling our Australian affiliate to greater profitability and has transformed our growth opportunities in Asia/Pacific and particularly Japan."
 The Future
 Responding to his own question -- "What do future seasons hold for Heinz?" -- O'Reilly answered: "A dominant development is the liberalization of world trade and the wrenching change that will accompany it. This is transforming the competitive profile of food processing in a manner hitherto unknown."
 He then explained that Heinz's internal initiatives include leveraging its assets -- regardless of tradition or national borders -- to respond to the new competitive pressures created by the liberalization of world trade. "Once we manufactured food locally for a local market. We were protected from overseas competition by a range of things: tariffs; quotas; local tastes; bureaucratic regulations; and the high cost of freight for high-volume, relatively low-value products. Those tariff and non-tariff barriers are fading away and it is now common for food products to be sold profitably between continents," he said.
 Referring to the company's international marketing efforts, O'Reilly cited three emerging global brands -- ketchup, Weight Watchers and baby food. "In tomatoes alone we are the largest processor in the world," he noted.
 Global Initiatives
 Selling products across borders provides global manufacturers certain advantages and allows companies such as Heinz to consolidate their operations. O'Reilly stated that the dismantling of barriers offers Heinz an opportunity to reconfigure its worldwide manufacturing supply and distribution systems.
 "The North American Free Trade Agreement means taking Heinz Canada, which hitherto has had a 6,000-mile east-west distribution chain from the Maritimes to British Columbia, and permitting that affiliate to think along a new axis running north-south. No longer can we think of a Canadian affiliate; we have to consider the right manufacturing configuration for the entire North American continent, including Mexico," he emphasized.
 Amplifying O'Reilly's remarks, Connolly talked of the savings created by the consolidation of Heinz Canada and Heinz U.S.A. "We have reduced our costs and I believe there is a great deal more to be achieved," he said.
 Connolly talked about the rigorous attention to cost improvement and flexible marketing at Heinz Pet Products. "We have invested heavily in our Bloomsburg, Pa., pet food plant to ensure that it is the most productive, lowest cost facility in the industry," Connolly said.
 Annual case production at the plant has risen from 3 million in 1987 to more than 45 million this year.
 Concluding the presentation, O'Reilly said: "As we increasingly leverage and rationalize all our assets, Heinz will continue to be a sound, reliable and high-quality investment."
 /delval/
 -0- 3/24/93
 /CONTACT: D. Edward I. Smyth, vp-Corporate Affairs, 412-456-5780, or Debora S. Foster, general manager-Corporate Communications, 412-456-5778, both of H.J. Heinz; or John E. Kennedy or L. Michael Kelly Jr. of Ketchum Public Relations, 412-456-3586 or 412-456-3840, for H.J. Heinz/
 (HNZ)


CO: H.J. Heinz Co.; Heinz U.S.A ST: Pennsylvania IN: FOD SU:

DM-CD -- PG005 -- 9129 03/24/93 13:12 EST
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