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Heinz Beanz Factory Celebrates Golden Jubilee With Visit From The Queen

WIGAN, England, May 21 /PRNewswire/ --

- The Queen Accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh Opens New Heinz Packing Operation

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Heinz Beanz factory today to mark the 50th Anniversary of the official opening of the factory on the 21st of May 1959.

The Heinz canned food factory, based in Kitt Green near Wigan, makes more than 1 billion cans a year and 1.5 million cans of Heinz Beanz every day. It is the largest food processing plant in Europe and the largest of Heinz's factories around the world.

A new Heinz packing operation was also opened and started by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh during the visit. The state-of-the-art, robotic line for the automatic handling of 'dollies', the wheeled sales units which feature directly in supermarket store aisles, is dedicated to keeping pace with demand for some of the nation's favourite foods including Heinz Beanz, Cream of Tomato Soup and Heinz Spaghetti.

The Heinz Kitt Green factory was first opened on the 21st of May 1959 by the Lord Chancellor, the Rt. Hon. Viscount Kilmuir. Just a few weeks after the official opening, the factory was honoured with a visit by HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 24th of June 1959.

Scott O'Hara, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Heinz Europe said; "The visit by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh is a tremendous honour for Heinz which we share with immense pride. This year marks the occasion when The Queen will have been proclaimed Queen for 57 years - a number that is also rather significant to Heinz. This makes today's visit even more special."

This year Heinz is also celebrating 140 years since the company's first product, grated horseradish, was sold in 1869.

In the UK, Heinz varieties first went on sale in London's Piccadilly store Fortnum & Mason in 1886.

Notes to Editors:

What does the "57" stand for in Heinz's famous slogan, "57 Varieties?"

While riding a train in New York City in 1896, Henry Heinz saw a sign advertising 21 styles of shoes, which he thought was clever. Although Heinz was manufacturing more than 60 products at the time, Henry thought 57 was a lucky number. So, he began using the slogan "57 Varieties" in all his advertising. Today the company has more than 5,700 products around the globe, but still uses the magic number of "57."

About The Packing Hall

The main Packaging Hall at the Heinz Kitt Green site has benefited from significant investment over the last ten years so as to keep pace with consumer demand for some of the nation's favourite foods and the production of over a billion Heinz cans a year.

Most recently, a new high tech multi-pack unit and a multi-million pound investment in a new shrink wrapping operation has been completed. This has now been complemented in May 2009 with an additional multi-million pound investment in the state-of-the-art, automatic handling of merchandising units - called dollies - which are delivered to the largest supermarkets around the country and feature directly in store aisles.

This is the latest in a series of investments in the Heinz Packaging Hall which over the last ten years have helped to drive higher efficiencies and more sustainable use of resources.

Film Footage of HM The Queen Mother Visiting Kitt Green on 24 June 1959

The web and broadcaster's versions of the Queen Mother at Kitt Green are available to use from the following FTP. Please find the access details below:

Acrobat Television's I-Disk

To log on to our iDisk use your internet browser to go to:

Login name: public (if this doesn't work, try: Public)

Password: Dimitar

The Heinz files are in the 'Heinz Kitt Green' folder. Just click the down arrow beside the filename on the right to download. You have to download a movie file before you can view it. The files will be in Mpeg 1 and 2 format and DV QuickTime format for broadcasters.

If you have any problems/queries accessing these files or require them in any other format for anyone please call.

Heinz Kitt Green - Facts and Figures

    - Heinz purpose-built factory opened on 21st May 1959

    - It was situated in Wigan for access to

    - the Lancashire plain for its vegetable supply

    - a constant high quality water supply from the Lake District

    - a highly skilled labour pool (ex Mining Community)

    - excellent motorway links

    - Liverpool Docks for Bean Supply from America

    - The factory has its own Distribution Centre and world class,
      state-of-the-art laboratories and a pilot plant

    - Kitt Green produces the largest tonnage in Heinz world (around 12% of

    - Kitt Green is actually five large factories in one

    - Can Making - the 2nd largest can maker in UK

    - Soup Manufacture

    - Beans Manufacture

    - Pasta Manufacture

    - Variety Manufacture - (Baby food, Puddings and so on)

    - Around 1350 employees work on-site

    - 70% of Kitt Green employees have worked for Heinz for more than 10

    - 34% more than 20 years and

    - 16% over 30 years

    - 250,000 tonnes of rich tomato sauce are made every year for Heinz Beanz
      and Pasta

    - 720 million cans are made on-site each year.

    - 1,100 cans can be filled per minute on some lines

    - Over 1 billion cans each year are produced

    - Heinz has been reducing the salt content of beans for more than 20
      years and since 1997 has reduced the level by 32%.

    - Every Heinz bean is scanned laser beam that looks at the beans against
      a bean coloured background, anything which is not bean coloured is 
      detected .

    - Heinz uses around 50,000 tonnes of steel in cans a year and around
      24,000 tonnes for Heinz Beanz alone.

    - Around 180 people in the can making plant make and supply cans with
      over 1 billion cans each year

    - Heinz uses 20 million square meters. of tinplate which equals 32,000
      tonnes of tinplate per annum

    - Heinz ring pull ends are the lightest on the planet at only 0.18mm

    - The total Kitt Green site has an area of 226,175 sq. metres

    - Annual volume at the site is 95 million dozens (1.1 billion cans)

    - Approximately 325 different varieties and pack sizes are made at Kitt

    - There are 17 filling lines - Soups, Beans, Baby Food, Puddings and

    - 140 tonnes of steam per hour is produced from the state-of-the-art
      energy centre at 89% thermal efficiency.

    - 8.5 Megawatts of electricity are used at peak

    - The site has 20,000 metres of drainage

    - Kitt Green is home to Britain's best loved brand with grocery
      essentials such as Heinz Beanz, Cream of Tomato Soup and Spaghetti in 
      Tomato Sauce as well as Heinz microwaveable Snap Pots.


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