January 17, 2006

Kingsford Fires Up a New Charcoal Briquet

New Kingsford® Charcoal With Sure Fire Grooves™ Is Ready Faster and Burns Longer

Oakland, Calif. Jan. 18, 2006 – The Kingsford Products Company, the leading manufacturer of charcoal in the U.S., today announced its biggest innovation in the history of the brand: new Kingsford® charcoal briquets with Sure Fire Grooves™. These newly designed briquets are ready just 15 minutes after lighting – almost 25 percent faster than it would normally take for briquets to get ready for grilling.

"The aroma from real fire and smoke from charcoal grilling has been a cue for bringing together family and friends for great tasting food," says Kevin Maher, Kingsford Marketing Manager. "Kingsford has found a way to bring this experience to life faster through a newly designed briquet. This is an exciting development for grillers who love the taste of charcoal grilled foods but are looking for convenience, given today's fast-paced lifestyle."

Kingsford's new Sure Fire briquet features an original shape and grooves that expose more of the briquet's surface area to oxygen. The new design creates a more effective path for air to flow though, enabling the charcoal to burn more efficiently. The Sure Fire briquets minimize the amount of time it takes to reach cooking temperature, ultimately using less energy in the lighting stage, saving it for a longer cooking time.

New Kingsford with Sure Fire Grooves will replace existing briquets across the Kingsford product line, from the original blue bag to all-in-one Matchlight Charcoal. Comparatively Kingsford's Sure Fire briquets deliver:

  • 38 percent improvement in lighting time -- more surface area and edges catch the flame quickly

  • 22 percent decrease in the time it takes to get ready for cooking -- grooves create air channels to enable fast heating

  • 13 percent increase in cooking time at a temperature over 380 degrees Fahrenheit -- new briquets offer a longer burn time

"Even in our high-tech world, grilled foods continue to be a simple pleasure," says Rick Rodgers, one of Bon Appetit magazine's "Who's Who in American Barbecue" and author of the best-selling Barbecues 101. "The faster briquets get hotter, the faster your meal is on the table. This really is the first significant advancement in charcoal."

"The unmistakable taste of food grilled over charcoal is what makes real barbecue," says cooking expert Diane Morgan, who has demonstrated her cooking expertise on "Today," the Food Network, HGTV, and in her cookbooks Salmon and Dressed to Grill. "These new, ready-faster briquets make it easier than ever for weekend grillers to become everyday grillmasters."

Kingsford with Sure Fire Grooves will ship to grocery, mass, club and home improvement retailers in January 2006 and will be widely available by April 1, 2006. The number of briquets and uses per bag, package dimensions and price all remain the same for regular Kingsford charcoal: 4.5-lb bag, approximate retail value: $2.99; 9-lb bag, approximate retail value: $4.99; 18-lb bag, approximate retail value: $7.99; two 15-lb (shrink-wrapped) bags, approximate retail value: $11.99 and two 21.6 lb bags (shrink-wrapped) approximate retail value: $13.99.

Kingsford History

In the 1920s, Henry Ford learned of a process for turning extra wood from the production of Model T's into charcoal briquets and later built a charcoal plant. E.G. Kingsford, a relative of Ford's, and Thomas Edison were instrumental in selecting and designing the site of the new charcoal manufacturing plant. By the end of 1924, the plant was producing 55 tons of briquets each day, which were first sold to industry (meat and fish smokehouses mainly) and then to car customers. Ford would sell the briquets in bags, emblazoned with the Ford logo, for 25 cents, along with a $2 grill. (The idea came from an avid hunter who worked at the Iron Mountain plant. He thought the briquets could be used to make a quick and easy campfire.)

Later, Ford Charcoal was renamed Kingsford Charcoal in honor of E.G. Kingsford. Today, the Kingsford Products Company remains the leading manufacturer of charcoal in the U.S. Every year, about 300 million meals are grilled using 1 billion pounds of Kingsford® charcoal.

For more information about new Kingsford with Sure Fire Grooves, charcoal grilling recipes and tips, visit www.kingsford.com.

The Kingsford Products Company is a subsidiary of The Clorox Company, headquartered in Oakland, Calif. The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2005 revenues of $4.4 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Armor All® and STP® auto care products, Fresh Step® and Scoop Away® cat litters, Kingsford® charcoal briquets, Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings and sauces, Brita® water-filtration systems, and Glad® bags, wraps and containers. With 7,600 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in 25 countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $62.2 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges; and in fiscal 2005 alone made product donations valued at $4.9 million. For more information about Clorox, visit www.TheCloroxCompany.com.

Aileen Zerrudo, 510-271-3075

Sarah Karl, 312-240-3369

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