Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Milk-Bone 100th Anniversary Spokes Dog Winner

Milk-Bone(R) Announces First-Ever SpokesDog!

Wisconsin Dog Fetches Title in Contest Celebrating Bond Between Pet and Pet Parent; Will be Treated to $100,000 Contract

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 23, 2009-- To honor the iconic brand’s 100th anniversary, Del Monte Foods (NYSE:DLM), today announces that its Milk-Bone® brand has named its first-ever SpokesDog. It was a doggone great competition, but when America voted to pick just one dog to represent Milk-Bone®, a Great Dane named Winston from Mosinee, Wisconsin stood, literally and figuratively, head and shoulders above the rest. Winston and Melissa Ruppert, his proud pet parent, are taking home first prize in the Make a Milk-Bone Moment™ contest — a search for those genuine moments of joy that strengthen the bond between a pet and his or her pet parent.

“We received thousands of entries from across the country, but in the end America decided that it was Winston and his pet parent, Melissa, who best exemplified a Milk-Bone Moment,” said Christie Fleming, Vice President of Marketing, Del Monte Foods. “It’s evident from their picture and their story that these two share a very special bond and are genuinely the best of friends. We believe Winston is going to be a great SpokesDog and look forward to working with him over the next year to continue celebrating special moments across the country.”

Winston and his pet parent Melissa Ruppert are both paws-itively excited about being named America’s top dog. Along with his new found fame, Winston, who was a gift for Melissa from her husband on their first wedding anniversary, will receive a $100,000 contract to serve as the first-ever Milk-Bone® SpokesDog. As part of becoming the first-ever SpokesDog in the 100-year history of the brand, Winston will be featured on packaging later in the year and take part in several marketing initiatives for 2009. He will also serve as an advocate for the Milk-Bone® Canine Heroes™ program, a longstanding, national-outreach program that provides canine assistance dogs to individuals with disabilities, as well as police dogs to law enforcement organizations.

Celebrating 100 Years (that’s 700 in dog years!)

A century ago, a New York City baker was barking up the right tree when he decided that his four-legged friends deserved a tasty treat too. Originally created in a small bakery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the biscuits became known to millions as Milk-Bone® dog biscuits, America’s favorite dog snack. 100 years later, the brand commemorated the special occasion by kicking off the Make a Milk-Bone Moment™ contest, which included the construction of the world’s largest doghouse in New York City and a mobile tour that visited cities across the country. The contest — designed to sniff out America’s best Milk-Bone Moment™ — drew thousands of dog lovers’ entries throughout 2008. The 100 finalists were chosen based on a picture/video submission, along with the essay they entered in the Make a Milk-Bone® Moment™ contest. The 100 finalists were featured on www.milkbone.com, where America voted for their favorite moment. Nearly 70,000 votes were cast, with Winston chosen as top dog.

About Milk-Bone®

Milk-Bone® is a leading and trusted dog snack brand and markets a complete line of dog biscuits, chewy treats, long-lasting chews and crunchy treats. Since 1908 when the first Milk-Bone® Original Dog Biscuit was sold, Milk-Bone® has made high-quality dog snacks that excite dogs and their pet parents! Today, dogs wag their tails for Milk-Bone® Original Biscuits, Milk-Bone® Flavor Snacks, Milk-Bone® Chewy Treats, Milk-Bone® SteakChew, Milk-Bone® Mar-O Snacks™ crunchy treats and Milk-Bone® Original Dog Treats. For more information about Milk-Bone, visit www.Milk-Bone.com.

About Del Monte Pet Products

At Del Monte, our pet products nourish and enrich the lives of pets and pet parents by providing great-tasting, high-quality and innovative products for dogs and cats and by encouraging them to enjoy an active lifestyle together. With trusted brands including Meow Mix®, Kibbles ‘n Bits®, 9Lives®, Snausages®, Pup-Peroni®, Milk-Bone®, Meaty Bone® and Pounce®, our products enrich the connection between people and the pets they love. As a premier provider of taste-oriented pet food and pet snacks, our products play a key role in the lives of millions of pet families everyday.

About Del Monte Foods

Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest and most well-known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.2 billion in net sales in fiscal 2008. With a powerful portfolio of brands including Del Monte®, S&W®, Contadina®, College Inn®, Meow Mix®, Kibbles 'n Bits®, 9Lives®, Milk-Bone®, Pup-Peroni®, Meaty Bone®, Snausages® and Pounce®, Del Monte products are found in eight out of ten U.S. households. The Company also produces, distributes and markets private label food and pet products. For more information on Del Monte Foods Company (NYSE: DLM) visit the Company’s website at www.delmonte.com.

Del Monte. Nourishing Families. Enriching Lives. Every Day.™

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5902206&lang=en

Source: Del Monte Foods

Del Monte Foods
Bryson Thornton, 415-247-3052
Coyne PR for Del Monte
Jennifer Lilly, 973-316-1665

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