Hormel Foods Acquires Century Foods International, Manufacturer of Nutritional Ingredients

AUSTIN, Minn.--July 31, 2003--Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) today announced the acquisition of Century Foods International, Sparta, Wis., in a $115 million cash transaction. Century Foods International is a manufacturer of nutritional products, dairy proteins and blends, and cheese products.

Century Foods International has a strong market share in the manufacture and distribution of powders and supplements for many of the nation's top-selling branded nutritional products. This acquisition will further enhance the position of Hormel Foods in the growing specialty foods segment.

Century Foods International is a major supplier of ingredients for whey protein powders, ready-to-drink protein beverages and nutrition bars. These products are sold to the health, sports, nutritional and food supplement industries.

The $6 billion category of sports nutrition supplements and functional foods has recorded very strong growth in recent years. Consumer sales in this market grew 15 percent in 2001, driven by increasing health awareness.

Reporting annual revenues of $125 million, Century Foods International operates four state-of-the-art manufacturing plants, which total approximately 400,000 square feet, in Sparta. The company has devoted over 20,000 square feet to a modern research center for the development of products. Century's research and development staff is a leading technical team in the protein supplement business and is well recognized for its expertise in food ingredients and food applications for human nutrition.

"Century Foods International's extensive portfolio will significantly strengthen our existing product offerings through our specialty foods group," said Joel W. Johnson, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. "The company is well known in the industry for producing differentiated products, with the capability to deliver line extensions and new products."

Founded in 1992, Century Foods International opened its first plant in 1994. The company currently employs 400 people.

"Century Foods International has many of the attributes we value in growing Hormel Foods," said Johnson. "We're excited about the prospects of this fast-growing nutritional foods enterprise."

Century Foods International will report to Gary Paxton, vice president of the specialty foods group of Hormel Foods.

US Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc. acted as financial advisor to Hormel Foods.

About Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring quality, value-added brands to the global marketplace. In January 2001, January 2002 and January 2003, Hormel Foods was named one of "The 400 Best Big Companies in America" by Forbes magazine. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, and foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit www.hormel.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release contains forward-looking information based on management's current views and assumptions. Actual events may differ. Please refer to the Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Statements and Information that appears on Exhibit 99 of the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Oct. 26, 2002, which can be accessed at www.hormel.com.

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