Birds Eye Raising Frozen Vegetable Prices

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Birds Eye Foods, Inc., the nation's leader in manufacturing and marketing frozen vegetables and a major processor of other food products, said it intends to implement across-the-board price increases on all product categories, including store brands, effective June 28, 2004. The increases are expected to be in the range of 5 percent to 7 percent.

"Our industry continues to be challenged by increases in agricultural commodity prices," said Dennis M. Mullen, Birds Eye Foods chairman, president, and c.e.o. "This is evidenced by the soybean and corn markets, as well as the dairy, beef, and edible oils markets. Several of our other major commodity markets have also been dramatically escalating. Rising prices of natural gas and crude oil have greatly impacted not only our transportation costs, but also many of our energy-intensive packaging components.

"We will continue in our efforts to mitigate rising costs," he concluded, "but with no foreseeable commodity market improvements, we now find it necessary to take appropriate action."

Birds Eye Foods, with sales of approximately $1.0 billion annually, processes fruits and vegetables in 14 facilities across the country. Familiar brands in the frozen aisle include Birds Eye, Birds Eye Voila!, Birds Eye Simply Grillin,' Freshlike, and McKenzie's. Other processed foods marketed by Birds Eye Foods include Comstock and Wilderness pie fillings, Nalley and Brooks chili and chili ingredients, Bernstein's and Nalley salad dressings, and Tim's, Snyder of Berlin, and Husman's snacks. Birds Eye Foods also produces many of these products for the store brands, food service and industrial markets.
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