11 FEB, 2011

New York, NY


Thomas & Friends™, the number one preschool property in the United Statesi, will move full steam ahead into food aisles this spring with Thomas the Tank Engine™-themed fruit flavored snacks. The deal, announced today, marks the first collaboration between Betty Crocker® Fruit Flavored Snacks and HIT Entertainment, a leading provider of quality children's entertainment.


"High quality and tasty options are as important to us as they are to the parents of all Thomas & Friends fans," said Gabriela Arenas, Vice President, US Consumer Products, Thomas Division, HIT Entertainment. "We are therefore thrilled to have the opportunity to work with General Mills, one of the largest and most trusted brands out there, to bring Thomas & Friends-themed fruit flavored snacks to families."


"We love providing moms with deliciously fun fruit flavored snack options for their kids to enjoy, so we are pleased to offer Thomas & Friends Fruit Flavored Snacks," said Ben Mand, Marketing Manager for Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks.


The Thomas & Friends™ Fruit Flavored Snacks will be available in June at grocery and mass market retailers nationwide. The products come in six different fruit flavored snack characters with strawberry, grape, orange, and cherry flavors. They are 80 calories per pouch, fat free, and an excellent source of vitamin C.


For the 10th consecutive year, Thomas & Friends™ was the number one license in the preschool toys category in the United States, according to The NPD Group, Inc. Thomas & Friends also holds the #1 spot for top preschool property and it was a top 10 property in the entire toy industry for 2010, according to NPD.


About General Mills
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Haagen-Daz, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company's $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.


About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America. HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS Sprout?. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.


To download artwork, please visit www.hitnewsonline.com.


i Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service


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