IBP (NYSE: IBP) has taken a major step in its mission to create the most recognized label in the retail meat case. The company today unveiled Thomas E. Wilson(TM) as the name of its new consumer brand.

The Thomas E. Wilson label represents a revolutionary move by IBP toward brand name, consumer ready products, such as steaks, chops, roasts and ribs. The new consumer brand will cover a variety of fresh, frozen and cooked meat items, and also include marinated and seasoned cuts.

“This is an exciting time for IBP as we realize the fulfillment of our strategy to produce and market brand name cuts of beef and pork,” according to IBP Chairman and CEO Robert L. Peterson. “Building on a heritage of quality, Thomas E. Wilson is a strong foundation for establishing IBP’s branded products effort.”

The new brand owes its name to one of the most celebrated heroes of the meat industry. As the president of Wilson & Company, Thomas E. Wilson worked to develop many of today’s popular value added beef and pork products. Wilson & Company was responsible for introducing many well-known brands, such as Wilson Certified Hams, Wilson’s Continental Deli and Wilson’s Corn King. These brand names are now part of IBP’s family of consumer products. Thomas E. Wilson was also a hero for America’s youth having worked to establish the National Committee on Boys and Girls Clubs and as the Chairman of the Board for the 4-H Clubs.

“Thomas E. Wilson is the single greatest initiative IBP has undertaken since the introduction of boxed beef,” Richard L. Bond, IBP president and chief operating officer, said. “We are dedicated to making this a success, providing consumers with what they demand: high quality, convenient cuts of beef and pork. Thomas E. Wilson provides the assurance of quality, trust and relevance for today’s consumers.”

This spring IBP will introduce Thomas E. Wilson fresh, case-ready beef and pork on a limited basis. These are packaged beef and pork cuts ready for retail grocers to place directly into the meat case. This will be a full meat case replacement program for fresh beef and pork. Products include more than 90 beef and 40 pork items, from closely trimmed steaks and chops to roasts and spareribs. IBP’s customers, which include retail grocery and club stores, will have the option of having the products pre-weighed and pre-priced. Point of purchase materials will be an integral part of the Thomas E. Wilson marketing effort.

The fresh, case-ready meats will be produced in IBP’s Council Bluffs, Iowa, facility. Due to the anticipated demand, plans are already underway to expand the company’s case-ready production capabilities.

In addition, beginning this summer, IBP will test market the first, new line of Thomas E. Wilson fully cooked products. This new line will use graphics, colors and icons similar to those in use in the fresh, case-ready meats program. Thomas E. Wilson fully cooked meat products are scheduled for national introduction in 2001. They will be supported by a major marketing campaign that will ultimately reach consumers across the country.

All Thomas E. Wilson products will be supported by a money back guarantee of satisfaction.

IBP is the world’s leading producer of high quality fresh beef and pork, and supplies premium, fully prepared meats and other consumer-ready foods for the retail and foodservice industries. The company employs more than 49,000 people.