Mars Food US Announces Plans for $10 Million Plant Expansion in Greenville; Update Will Double Production of Uncle Ben's(R) 90-Second Ready Rice Line

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To increase production and meet demand for its popular rice products, Mars Food US recently announced plans to invest $10 million in the expansion of its Uncle Ben's(R) plant in Greenville, Miss. throughout 2008. This investment is part of Mars Food's commitment to economic development in the Delta region, as well as designed to fulfill the expanding consumer demand for convenient, healthy, family-friendly foods.

Expansion of the Uncle Ben's plant in Greenville is welcome news and I am very pleased that Mars Food US has again demonstrated its commitment to economic growth in the Mississippi Delta region

    "Expansion of the Uncle Ben's plant in Greenville is welcome news and I am very pleased that Mars Food US has again demonstrated its commitment to economic growth in the Mississippi Delta region," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. "By investing in innovation I know this outstanding operation will continue to thrive and provide good, stable jobs for Mississippians in an essential economic sector."

Uncle Ben's(R) Ready Rice(R) product line launched in 2004 and has quickly expanded to include 14 varieties. Touted as a simple side dish for families that are time-crunched but want to enjoy a complete, satisfying meal together, the Ready Rice(R) pouches are microwavable and ready to eat in 90 seconds. The latest products on the market are the Uncle Ben's(R) Ready Whole Grain Medley(TM) varieties - available in Brown & Wild, Santa Fe, and Vegetable Harvest flavors.

"Our expansion of the Greenville plant shows our long term commitment to create job security and economic advancement in the Delta community," said Vincent Howell, president, Mars Foods US. "Our dedication to building a start-of-the-art facility will allow us to increase production capacity for our Uncle Ben's products and therefore allow us to celebrate the timeless goodness of our rice with families across America, which begins with our family in Greenville."

Howell added, "We are grateful for the support of the local and state governments in Mississippi. Governor Haley Barbour, who visited our site in 2007, and the Mississippi Economic Development Authority have offered valuable assistance in order to make this reinvestment in the state's economy and our business a reality."

"Mars Food US again has shown their confidence in Mississippi's growing economy by investing millions into innovation," said Gray Swoope, Executive Director, Mississippi Development Authority. "We appreciate their commitment to this region and to the state."

The Greenville plant expansion will not only double the capacity of the 90-second Ready Rice(R) line of products, it will also allow for increased innovation in other Uncle Ben's(R) product lines.

Giving Back to the Community

Last fall, Uncle Ben's(R) announced a new multi-year partnership with the Kids Cafe program of America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network. Over the next four years, Uncle Ben's(R) will donate $1 million to open additional Kids Cafe locations around the country and provide free meals and snacks to low-income children.

The first Uncle Ben's(R) Kids Cafe opened in September 2007, in Greenville, which is considered the spiritual home of the Uncle Ben's(R) brand, at the Washington County Boys & Girls Club. For more than a year, local Mars employees worked to renovate the Boys & Girls Club - tackling everything from painting and cleaning to refurbishing the kitchen with working appliances. The Greenville Kids Cafe is the Delta's first child hunger-relief facility and plans to serve an estimated 1,000 children a year.

"Uncle Ben's is proud of this multi-year partnership and $1 million pledge to the America's Second Harvest Kids Cafe program," added Howell. "The Mars family and company associates are committed to giving back to the communities where our products are made. Through donations of money, food and volunteer time, the Kids Cafe program allows us to make a significant impact in the lives of children across the country."

For more information on the partnership between America's Second Harvest and Uncle Ben's(R) or to download recipes and coupons, visit http://www.unclebens.com.

About Uncle Ben's(R)

UNCLE BEN'S(R), the number one rice brand in America, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavours and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for convenient side dishes and savory main courses. UNCLE BEN'S(R) offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, and flavoured rices in cook times ranging from 30 minutes to 90 seconds, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, UNCLE BEN'S(R) is the top-selling branded rice in the United States and products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. UNCLE BEN'S(R) is manufactured by Mars Food US, part of the United States food, snack and pet care operations of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit http://www.unclebens.com.

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Kate Lindley
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