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Oct 29, 2009

100 Finalists Announced for the 44(th) Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest; Finalists to compete for $1 million grand prize in April 2010

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The Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest announced the final 100 home cooks who will compete for $1 million at the finals April 11-13, 2010, in Orlando, Fla. The group’s creative original recipes beat out tens of thousands of recipe entries to earn the chance to compete for the grand prize.

The finalists represent 36 different states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. Four will be competing in their home state of Florida. Pennsylvania has the highest number of finalists at 12, while Ohio comes in second with eight. The 100 finalists range in age from 25 to 73 and include eight men and 92 women. The list of 100 finalists is available at www.bakeoff.com.

“This is quite a group of talented home cooks,” said Jann Atkins, Pillsbury Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager. “They entered their new recipes that are certainly creative and delicious, but also very approachable and simple. It will be exciting to see which one takes the top prize.”

The final 100 recipes for the 44(th) contest will be available in January 2010 on www.bakeoff.com. On April 12, the 100 home cooks will compete in four categories—Breakfast & Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy™ and Sweet Treats—side-by-side at 100 GE mini-kitchens at the Bake-Off(®) Contest finals. Working in secrecy behind closed doors, a panel of food experts will taste the recipes prepared by the finalists and select the contest winners.

Cash and Prizes
One of the four category winners will win the $1 million grand prize and a GE Profile™ Induction Free-Standing Range, plus the winner chooses $7,000 in additional GE Profile™ kitchen appliances. Combined retail value of Grand Prize is approximately $1,010,300. The three remaining Recipe Category Winners will each receive $5,000 and a GE Profile™ Induction Free-Standing Range. Combined retail value of each Category Prize is approximately $8,300.

Three additional awards will be presented to winners chosen from any of the recipe categories who have not already won another prize. The most innovative recipe will receive the GE Imagination at Work Award and its winner receives a GE Profile™ Induction Free-Standing Range, plus the winner chooses $1,700 in additional GE Profile™ kitchen appliances. Retail value of the GE Imagination At Work Award is approximately $5,000. The Jif(®) Peanut Butter Award recognizes the finalist who has the best recipe using at least ¼ cup of Jif(®) Peanut Butter. The winner will receive $5,000. The Crisco is Cooking™ Award recognizes the finalist who has the best recipe using at least 1 tablespoon of Crisco(®) Cooking Oil. The winner will receive $5,000.

Each of the 100 finalists wins a trip to the contest finals, including airfare, a two-night stay at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel in Florida, daily event-sponsored meals, a GE countertop microwave oven (estimated retail value of $249), and $125. Approximate retail value of each finalist package is $1,325.

Eligible Products
Finalists had to use two or more different eligible products in their recipes, with at least one ingredient from the primary list of products and a second from either the primary or secondary list.

The primary list featured returning eligible products to the contest, including Pillsbury(® )Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls, Classic Pizza Crust, Cookie Dough and Ready to Bake!™ Cookies, Grands!(®) and Golden Layers(®) Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Breadsticks, Crusty French Loaf, and Pie Crusts; Pillsbury(®) Brownie Mixes and Pillsbury BEST(® )Flour. Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations(®) refrigerated seamless dough sheet, Pillsbury Place ‘n Bake(®) refrigerated crescent rounds and Thin Pizza Crust were new products on the primary list.

The secondary list featured Green Giant(® )Frozen Vegetables, Jif(® )Peanut Butter, Smucker’s(® )Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Fruit Spreads and Ice Cream Toppings, Crisco(® )Cooking Oil, Eggland’s Best Eggs, LAND O LAKES(® )Butter and Fisher(®) Nuts. Eagle Brand(®) Sweetened Condensed Milk and Hershey(®)’s( )cocoa, baking chips or bits and baking chocolate were new eligible ingredients also on the secondary list.

The 44(th) Pillsbury Bake-Off( ®) Contest is sponsored by General Mills, General Electric, The J.M. Smucker Company, Eggland’s Best, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Fisher(®) Nuts and The Hershey Company.

Visit www.bakeoff.com for the official rules as well as past recipes and history for the contest’s 60 years.

About the Sponsors
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in over 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. For more than 130 years, families have trusted Pillsbury to make mealtimes special times. Favorite Pillsbury products include refrigerated cookies, crescent dinner rolls, breads, biscuits, pie crusts and sweet rolls as well as frozen biscuits, sweet rolls, pie crusts, pastry bites and breakfast items. For product information and great-tasting recipes, visit www.pillsbury.com. Log on to www.generalmills.com for company information.

GE Consumer & Industrial spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services. Providing solutions for commercial, industrial and residential use in more than 100 countries, GE Consumer & Industrial uses innovative technologies and ecomagination(SM), a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that help customers and consumers meet pressing environmental challenges, to deliver comfort, convenience and electrical protection and control. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Entellisys®, Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com.

For more than 100 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been committed to offering consumers quality products that help families create memorable mealtime moments. Today, Smucker is the leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and health and natural foods beverages in North America. The Company’s wide variety of icon brands and products include such trusted favorites as Smucker’s® jams, jellies, preserves, fruit spreads and ice cream toppings; Jif® peanut butter; Crisco® oils, shortening and sprays; Eagle Brand® sweetened condensed milk; and Pillsbury® baking mixes, ready-to-spread frosting and flour. For more information and delicious recipes, please visit www.smuckers.com, www.jif.com, www.crisco.com, www.eaglebrand.com and www.pillsburybaking.com.

Eggland's Best is the No. 1 branded egg in the U.S. They are the recipients of many awards including the Gold Medal for superior taste, appearance and freshness from The American Masters of Taste; The Best Tasting Egg in America from the American Culinary Chefs Best for six consecutive years (2002-2008); the Good Housekeeping Seal from the publication’s Good Housekeeping Research Institute; the Men’s Health Top Pick as the Best Eggs in their Nutrition Awards for four consecutive years; the Best Eggs according to the Women’s Health 2007 Best Foods list; The Crystal Egg Award from the International Egg Commission; and the National Health & Wellness Club Stamp of Approval for flavor, quality and nutrition. Eggland’s Best is the official egg of the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off(®) Contest. The distinctive “EB” stamp on the shell assures consumers that the eggs meet the highest standards of taste, nutrition and quality. Eggland’s Best hens are fed a strictly controlled, high-quality, all-natural, all-vegetarian diet without added hormones, antibiotics or steroids of any kind. EB eggs are available in large, cage-free and organic varieties, and are certified as Kosher. For more information, visit www.eggland.com.

Land O’Lakes, Inc., a Minnesota-based food and agriculture company, is a leading supplier of quality dairy products. In 1921, Land O’Lakes began making butter from sweet—not sour—cream. Ever since that breakthrough, the company has been a leading producer of butter and other pure, wholesome dairy products that deliver simple goodness to consumers. Today, the tradition of innovation continues with a complete line up of butter and spreads products. Visit www.landolakes.com anytime for great recipes and meal ideas.

Since 1920, Fisher® Nuts has prided itself in providing only the freshest and highest quality nuts. Today, Fisher® Nuts continues its tradition of excellence as a John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. (JBSS) brand. A favorite with at-home chefs looking for an easy and nutritious way to add flavor and pizzazz to any dish, Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® Baking Nuts provide delicious baking and cooking ingredients, making everyday meals extraordinary. Fisher® Snack Nuts offer crunchy freshness and dry roasted flavor for a healthier, delicious snack any time of the day. Fisher’s fresh and delicious products can be found in stores and supermarkets under the Fisher®, Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® and Sunshine Country® brand names. For more information on Fisher Nuts, please visit www.fishernuts.com.

The HERSHEY Company, the largest North American manufacturer of quality chocolate products, also provides a wide variety of baking products for consumers and foodservice operators. The HERSHEY Company is proud to offer quality baking cocoa, baking chocolate and baking chips and pieces under the Hershey®’s, Reese’s®, Heath®, Heath® Bits‘o Brickle®, Mini Kisses® and Special Dark® brands. With such a variety of forms and flavors, making dessert a memorable occasion has never been easier or more certain! For more information, consumers may visit www.hersheyskitchens.com.


For More Information, Contact:

Pillsbury Bake-Off® Public Relations
Shera Balgobin, 763-293-1212
or
Peg Ilkka, 763-764-7993