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Wednesday 12 April, 2000

Bestfoods

1st Quarter Results

Bestfoods
12 April 2000



Contact     Gale L.Griffin (201) 894-2407
            Vice President, Corporate Communications


BESTFOODS REPORTS 14.3% FIRST-QUARTER E.P.S. GROWTH

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ, April 11,2000 - Bestfoods announced today a first-quarter
increase in earnings per share of 14.3% to $0.56 from $0.49 for the same period
last year.  Net income for the first quarter advanced 10.9% to $160 million from
$144 million in the first quarter of 1999.

These strong results came primarily from a 6.8% volume increase (including 2.2%
from acquisitions), which more than overcame the substantial negative impact of
unfavorable European and Latin American currency rates.  The comparison also
benefitted from a lower tax rate, effective in the third quarter of 1999, and
fewer shares outstanding, as the company continued to repurchase stock within
the three year share repurchase program begun in 1998.

Operating income rose 8% to $308 million from $285 million.  The 2000 operating
income results included a $10 million provision in Bestfoods North America to
cover exposure for a large doubtful account with a distributor in the
foodservice business who filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2000.  The
results also included a $3 million gain on the sale of an asset in Europe. 
Worldwide sales, strongly affected by unfavorable currency rates, were held to
an increase of 1.0%, to $2.22 billion from $2.19 billion in the first quarter of
1999.

C.R. Shoemate, chairman and chief executive officer of Bestfoods, said,
'Bestfoods is off to a great start in 2000, especially when you consider that we
are comparing a strong first quarter last year in which E.P.S. grew 11.4%. 
Strength is clearly building on strength as we continue to drive for top and
bottom line growth in our operations around the world.'

Shoemate commented particularly on the continuing progress of Bestfoods' North
American business.  'Without the $10 million provision in conjunction with the
bankruptcy filing of a foodservice distributor, Bestfoods North America would
have had a 13.5% jump in operating income.  This follows excellent third and
fourth quarters in 1999, when North America's operating income rose 13.3% and
9.8%, respectively.  Sales have also grown robustly for the last three quarters,
chiefly from continuing volume gains.  This quarter's 14.3% volume increase
includes significant added volumes from the Case-Swayne foodservice acquisition,
but also - something we very much like to see - 5.3% growth in our existing
businesses.'

North American volume growth included an especially strong contribution by
Hellmann's and Best Foods mayonnaise, which benefitted from an end-of-quarter
trade buy-in following the announcement of a price increase.  Volumes of
Hellmann's and Best Foods pourable dressings, Skippy peanut butter, and Knorr
products were all substantially higher.  Volumes of Mueller's pasta and Mazola
oil were down.

North America's first quarter included vigorous new product activity.  Skippy
Doubly Delicious! peanut butter and Hellmann's and Best Foods Citrus Splash
pourable salad dressings were launched, as well as a new Honey Mustard and a new
'Big Squeeze' package for mayonnaise.  At the end of the quarter, the Mueller's
Pasta Essentials line, fortified with calcium, fiber, and folic acid, was
introduced to the trade.  Also, presentations were made to the trade for a new
soy beverage product to be sold under the NutraBlend brand within a few months.

The company's baking business also had an excellent quarter, with operating
income up 33%, compared to a 17% first-quarter gain in 1999 and a 12% gain in
the same quarter of 1998.

While cautioning that the baking business is not expected to produce growth at
these very high levels going forward, Mr.Shoemate said, 'Bestfoods Baking
continues to demonstrate enormous vitality.  This quarter is the business' 10th
consecutive quarter of double-digit operating income growth.  New efficiencies
and volume growth, particularly in the bread, bagel, and English muffin lines,
are driving this outstanding record of success.  Volumes of sweet baked goods
under the Entenmann's and Freihofer's brands are also higher.'

Discussing the company's European performance, Mr. Shoemate said, 'Our wonderful
European team continues to find new ways to save costs, improve margins, and
grow volumes.

'The operating income story in Europe is very positive.  In recorded dollars,
the gain, which included a $3 million benefit from the sale of a decommissioned
facility in Spain, was a very healthy 11.4%, with nearly all affiliates
contributing.  Without the impact of exchange and the one-time gain, we would be
talking about a remarkable 22% increase.

'The sales decline was entirely a result of unfavorable exchange rates.  Without
the impact of exchange, the sales gain would have been nearly 6%.  One great
sign of the health of this business is that nearly all of this quarter's volume
growth of about 5% came from our existing businesses via new products and
geographic extensions.  A small percentage of the volume growth came from the
1999 Globus dressings acquisition in Hungary.'

Of the company's Latin American business, Mr Shoemate said, 'In this region as
well, we were faced with negative exchange rates that inhibited our progress. 
However, in the second quarter, we will lap last year's Brazilian currency
devaluation of approximately 40% and begin to see performance numbers more
indicative of our actual progress.  Even with the currency impact, operating
income this quarter rose nearly 8%.

'The big news in Latin America was the announcement in February of the
acquisition of the $440 million Arisco business.  Arisco's wonderful portfolio
of leading value-priced brands adds importantly to the strength and depth of our
Brazilian business, which already includes brands such as Knorr, Hellmann's, and
Mazola at the premium end of the product spectrum.'

In line with Bestfoods' international reporting schedule, Arisco's numbers will
be included in the company's financial statements for the first time in the
second quarter.

Bestfoods' Asian business posted strong double-digit sales, volume, and
operating income growth, against a weak quarter last year.  Mr Shoemate
commented, 'The Asian business is now back on the growth track, after two very
difficult years.  Bestfoods' long experience in volatile markets around the
world paid off handsomely in our ability to minimize the negative impact of
dramatic currency devaluations and recession in the region through 1997 and
1998.  Though it didn't feel like it at the time, the Asian economic crisis
ultimately was a good thing for our business.  Pricing and cost-containment
measures taken during that period have created an even stronger business than we
had prior to 1997.  Today, our market shares are strong, volumes are growing
dramatically, and our margins are sound.  We again look forward to rapid
development of our operations in Asia, a region rich with opportunity for
Bestfoods.

'In summary, this very positive start to the year gives us confidence that we
will meet Wall Street's consensus estimate of $2.73 per share for 2000.'

Highlights

Management Changes

* Diego Bevilacqua has been named president of Bestfoods' Asian division and
elected a corporate vice president of Bestfoods.  He had been a division vice
president, responsible for the company's affiliates in Southwest Asia and for
its foodservice business in the region.  He replaced Heribert H. Grunert, who
elected early retirement after 31 years with the company.

*Harry Elliott was named Chief Information Officer, a new position within
Bestfoods' management structure, and elected a corporate vice president of
Bestfoods.  He had been senior vice president, finance and administration, for
Bestfoods' North American division.

* Bruce S.Gordon, group president of Bell Atlantic Corporation's Enterprise
Business Group, and Harold 'Terry' McGraw III, chairman, president, and chief
executive officer of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., were elected to the Board
of Directors of Bestfoods.

Acquisitions and Geographic Expansion

* Brazil: Acquisition of Arisco, with annual sales of $440 million, announced.

* Egypt: Acquisition of El Rashidi El Mizan, a sesame-based products business
with annual sales of more than $30 million, expected to close week of April 10.

* Slovenia: Bestfoods establishes affiliate operations.

New Products

- Soups, Sauces, Bouillons, Mealmakers, and related savoury products

Colombia: Knorr granulated chicken bouillon
Germany: Knorr Feinschmecker ready-to-heat sauces in doy pouch
Hong Kong: Knorr MarinMate range of dry-mix meat marinades
Mexico: Knorr vegetable bouillon
Philippines: 'Pang-Gisa' low cost seasoning mix
Poland: XXL cup soups under the Knorr Goracy Kubek sub-brand
Romania: Delikat Bors Magic sour soup maker
South Africa: Knorr TasteBreaks hot savory snacks in cups
Spain: Starlux Caldo Suave bouillon
Switzerland: Knorr aseptically-packaged soups enriched with vitamins and fiber 
Taiwan: Relaunched Knorr cup soups in three varieties
Vietnam: Knorr instant ramen noodle

-Dressings

Brazil: Value priced Jimmi mayonnaise and ketchup
Czech Republic: Hellman's garlic, cheese, and horseradish bread spreads
Thailand: Black pepper flavored mayonnaise developed by foodservice business for
major restaurant chain.
U.K.: New vinaigrette varieties added to Hellmann's pourable salad dressings
range 
United States: Hellmann's and Best Foods Citrus Splash pourable salad dressings

- Bread Spreads

China: Two varieties of Skippy Stripes peanut butter (chocolate and pineapple)
United States: Skippy Doubly Delicious! peanut butter with Nestle chocolate

Bestfoods' management will discuss Bestfood's quarterly results on Wed. morning
(April 12, 2000 - 8:15 AM), at an analyst meeting, which will be broadcast live
and in recorded form over www.bestfoods.com.

To provide the clearest possible description of our business and outlook, this
report contains forward-looking statements based on our best current information
and reasonable assumptions about anticipated developments.  Statements including
such words as 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'plans', 'believes',
'estimates' and other similar expressions are intended to identify such forward
looking statements.  Because of the risks and uncertainties that always exist in
any operating environment or business, we cannot make assurances that these
expectations will prove correct.  Actual results and developments may differ
materially depending upon currency values, competitive pricing, consumption
levels, costs and political and social conditions in the economies and
environments where Bestfoods operates.

ABOUT BESTFOODS: Bestfoods, formerly CPC International Inc., is among the
largest U.S. food companies, with sales of $8.6 billion in 1999.  Best known
among Bestfoods' U.S. products are: Hellmann's and Best Foods mayonnaise and
dressings; Mazola corn oil; Skippy peanut butter; Knorr soups, sauces, and
bouillons; Entenmann's sweet baked products; Thomas' English muffins; Arnold,
Brownberry, Freihofer's, and Oroweat breads; Boboli pizza crusts; Mueller's
pasta; and Karo syrup.  Bestfoods' global Knorr brand comprises one of the
world's most extensive lines of products.  Bestfoods is one of the nation's most
international food companies, with operations in more than 60 countries and
products marketed in 110 countries.  For more information about Bestfoods, visit
the company's website on the Internet at: http://www.bestfoods.com.

Bestfoods - Divisional Results

($ millions)                        Three Months Ended
                                       March 31,
                           2000         1999              %

Net Sales               
North America             $424          $374            13.0
Europe                     954           995            (4.1)
Latin America              281           300            (6.2)
Asia                       114            99            15.7
Baking                     445           427             4.3
Total Net Sales         $2,218        $2,195             1.0

Operating Income
North America              $41           $45             (8.7)
Europe                     176           158             11.4
Latin America               66            61              7.9
Asia                        17            14             23.8
Baking                      28            21             33.0
Corporate Expenses         (20)          (14)            44.2
Total Operating Income    $308          $285              8.0


Bestfoods and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Income
(All figures are in millions except per share amounts)

                                                    Three Months Ended
                                                       March 31,
                                               2000                   1999
Net sales                                     $2,218                 $2,195
Cost of sales                                  1,156                  1,177
Gross profit                                   1,062                  1,018

Operating expenses                               754                    733
Operating income                                 308                    285

Financing costs                                   47                     46

Income before income taxes                       261                    239
Provision for income taxes                        87                     83
                                                 174                    156
Minority stockholders' interest                   14                     12
Net income                                      $160                   $144 

Average common shares outstanding:
Basic                                            276.3                 280.9
Diluted                                          285.1                 290.6

Earnings per common share:                 
Basic                                            $0.57                  $0.50
Diluted                                          $0.56                  $0.49


Cash dividends declared per common share       $ .265                  $ .245

This is an unaudited interim statement prepared by management and reflects all
adjustments which are, in the opinion of management, necessary to a fair
statement of results for the interim periods.
Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the 2000
presentation.

Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 11, 2000      Philip V. Terenzio
                                          Vice President & Controller


                         BESTFOODS
ANALYSIS OF CHANGE IN EPS 2000 VERSUS 1999

                                         DILUTED
($ PER SHARE)                        FIRST QUARTER
HIGHER VOLUMES                       $       0.07
MARGIN IMPROVEMENT                           0.05
CURRENCY IMPACT                             (0.07)
FINANCING COST                               0.00
SHARES OUTSTANDING                           0.01
TAX RATE                                     0.01
MINORITY INTEREST                            0.00
TOTAL CHANGES IN EPS                 $       0.07

EPS 1999                                     0.49

EPS 2000                             $       0.56




                                                                                                                  

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