High Liner Foods Incorporated

High Liner Foods Incorporated

April 20, 2005 11:45 ET

High Liner Foods Announces No Trans Fat in All 86 Retail Products

Consumers are Confused about Fats, as New High Liner Foods / Leger National Poll shows -- High Liner's Product Line with No Trans Fat, Lower Saturated Fat and No Added Hydrogenated Oils Helps Attention: Food/Beverage Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Photo Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 20, 2005) - High Liner Foods Incorporated (TSX: HLF) announced today that all High Liner® brand products will be trans fat free, have lower saturated fats and contain no added hydrogenated oils by the end of this year. The announcement is the result of the largest research and development effort in the Company's 106 year history.

More than half of these products that have these claims are already on store shelves, and an additional 22 reformulated products are scheduled to arrive in grocery stores by the autumn. The trans fat free products currently in-store or shipping account for 78% of Canadian High Liner retail sales.

"Good nutrition and taste are top priorities to High Liner," said Henry Demone, President and Chief Executive Officer, High Liner Foods. "This change has involved every value-added product and department in the company, and for good reason. Consumers are becoming more health conscious and want healthier food choices. Respecting these desires is a cornerstone of High Liner's philosophy."

High Liner took this comprehensive measure to ensure every one of its products would give consumers a healthy meal choice. All reformulated products are distributed in new packaging indicating the nutritional information and claims.

Poll Finds Canadians are Confused about Fats

High Liner Foods commissioned Leger Marketing to conduct a national survey on Canadians' attitudes and knowledge about fats. Representative of the entire adult population of Canada, the March 2005 survey shows Canadians are concerned about the types of fats in their foods and are taking actions to address their fat intake. Unfortunately, there is still considerable confusion about which fats are healthy and which are not. As a result, many consumers are making purchase decisions that don't reflect their nutritional goals.

"These statistics are worrisome," said Demone. "Even the consumers who are rightfully concerned about unhealthy fats, are still unclear about exactly which fats to avoid. By reformulating all our value-added products, High Liner provides consumers with an easy and convenient choice for healthy, nutritious and great tasting meals."

A majority, 60%, of Canadians agree trans fats are very unhealthy. However, almost three-in-ten (29%) Canadians think reducing trans fats in diets is just a fad and 10% think trans fats are healthy. 12% of respondents don't know if trans fats are healthy or unhealthy. Furthermore, 24% per cent believe hydrogenated oils are healthy and 16% simply don't know.

There is also confusion when it comes to understanding beneficial fats. More than three-in-ten Canadians think good fats like omega fatty acids are unhealthy (17%), or simply don't know (15%).

High Liner's Formula for Health

High Liner Foods first began research and preliminary product analysis for this multi-year reformulation project in 2003. Rigorous product analysis determined how each step in the process should be modified to eliminate trans fats, lower saturated fats and remove any added hydrogenated oils. The challenge was to accomplish this feat while maintaining the quality and great taste that consumers expect from one of the most recognized food brands in the country.

"Our goal was to maintain the great taste while enhancing nutrition," said Mr. Demone. "A massive undertaking such as this takes time. Consumers see the High Liner brand as reliable, dependable and great quality frozen fish. Reformulating our line-up is helping us to continue to lead our industry by providing healthy and nutritious food choices for consumers."

The undertaking involved personnel throughout High Liner and included changes at the processing plant in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. All High Liner suppliers were given strict new guidelines in order to maintain the brand's attributes of quality, flavour, texture and appearance.

"Our survey found almost three quarters of Canada's adult population is concerned or very concerned about trans fats, so we believe High Liner's commitment is a wise decision for both the consumer and the Company," said Mr. Demone.

About the Poll

The results emerged from a survey conducted from March 4, 2005 to March 7, 2005 among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,501 adult Canadians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current regional, gender, and age Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada.

About High Liner Foods

High Liner Foods Incorporated (TSX: HLF) is one of North America's largest processors and marketers of prepared frozen seafood and pasta. High Liner's branded products are sold in most grocery and club stores throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico under the High Liner®, Fisher Boy®, Gina Italian Village®, Italian Village® and Floresta® brands. High Liner is also a leading supplier of private label products to North American food retailers and a food service supplier to restaurants and institutions.

A Canadian company, High Liner Foods head office is in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The Canadian sales and marketing is in Toronto, Ontario. The US operations are headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

For more information, please visit our corporate web site www.highlinerfoods.com or our consumer web site www.highliner.com.
/For further information: Stephen Hodge, Advantis Communications, Tel: 416-226-6551 x2, Email: stephen@advantiscomm.com; Teresa Armstrong, High Liner Foods Inc., Marketing Manager, Retail Division, Tel: 416-622-3305, Email: teresa.armstrong@highlinerfoods.com / IN: FOOD, HEALTH, RETAIL

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