Maple Leaf Foods to Establish a Food Innovation Centre

    TSX: MFI

    TORONTO, April 26 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Foods today announced plans to
establish a food innovation centre that will enhance product development,
culinary knowledge and consumer insights across the Company's global meats and
meals and bakery businesses.
    "Over the past few years Maple Leaf has grown our portfolio to provide
consumers with exciting new products that deliver taste, nutrition and
convenience," said Michael McCain, President and CEO. "We want to accelerate
our leadership in innovation, which is fundamental to broadening and deepening
our customer relationships and achieving our financial goals. This food centre
will provide a powerful catalyst to drive new product development. The result
will be a focused and profitable stream of innovations that build on our
strengths as a value added meats and meals and bakery company."
    The Company plans to invest approximately $12 million in the food centre.
The facility will be constructed adjacent to its existing office tower in the
Meadowvale Business Park in Mississauga, Ontario and is expected to open by
early 2009.
    The food innovation centre will be home to many of the Company's experts
in innovation and culinary strategy, and will foster collaborative product
development across Maple Leaf's global bakery and protein businesses.
Resources located at the centre will include culinary facilities, a designated
foodservice kitchen, sensory and product development areas, teaching
facilities and a global culinary insight and trend library. The centre will
provide a central hands-on learning environment for sales, marketing and
product development staff to develop and share new food concepts, recipe
ideas, and evaluate preparation and display techniques with foodservice and
retail customers. It will also support consumer research and product testing.

    Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 24,000
people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and
Asia. The Company had sales of $5.9 billion in 2006.

For further information:

For further information: Lynda Kuhn, VP Public & Investor Relations,
(416) 926-2026

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