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T.G.I. Friday's Mac & Cheese Wedges (Photo: Business Wire)

H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) is significantly strengthening its focus on the T.G.I. Friday’s line of frozen snacks and appetizers by increasing its investment in marketing and product development in fiscal year 2013. The brand’s newest snack and appetizer item, T.G.I. Friday’s Mac & Cheese Wedges, capitalizes on the comfort food trend by taking one of America’s favorite comfort foods and turning it into an easy to prepare and fun to eat snack.

T.G.I. Friday's Mac & Cheese Wedges (Photo: Business Wire)

T.G.I. Friday's Mac & Cheese Wedges (Photo: Business Wire)

Heinz and T.G.I. Friday’s have a successful licensing partnership that has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past 11 years. The T.G.I. Friday’s frozen portfolio is a $250 million business for Heinz and the fourth largest brand in the Heinz U.S. Consumer Products portfolio.

“The T.G.I. Friday’s brand is an important growth driver for our North American business,” said Scott O’Hara, President and CEO, Heinz North America. “The frozen snacks and appetizer line is the segment of the T.G.I. Friday’s business with the highest growth and profit potential and most favorable consumer dynamics, which is why we have chosen to focus our efforts on this category.”

The latest snacks and appetizer innovation capitalizes on one of America’s favorite comfort foods. T.G.I. Friday’s frozen Mac & Cheese Wedges combine macaroni pasta with a creamy cheddar, Parmesan and Romano cheese sauce and are coated in a crispy breading. This innovative new product that embodies the fun and flavor of the T.G.I. Friday’s brand begins shipping this month and will be available at major retailers in a 15.5 oz box for a suggested retail price of $5.99.

“The ability to leverage such a well-known and loved restaurant brand in retail has added tremendous value to our frozen portfolio of products,” said David Ciesinski, Group Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Heinz U.S. Consumer Products. “The T.G.I. Friday’s frozen snacks and appetizers product line continues to be a robust and growing business for Heinz and remains a cornerstone of our frozen portfolio.”

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