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Kraft Heinz and Oprah Winfrey Team Up on Refrigerated Meals

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Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey Credit: Discovery Communications
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Oprah Winfrey, who gave a boost to Weight Watchers International Inc. by becoming the face of the company, is now embarking on a plan to sell refrigerated meals with Kraft Heinz Co.

The media magnate is starting a joint venture with Kraft called Mealtime Stories LLC, aiming to make nutritious food more widely available, according to a statement Wednesday. Kraft will develop and sell the new line, which will initially focus on ready-to-eat refrigerated dishes.

Ms. Winfrey is known for having far-reaching influence when she lends her imprimatur to a business. After she joined Weight Watchers' board and bought a 10% stake in 2015, shares of the long-suffering company rallied. Weight Watchers has no connection to the Mealtime effort, though the companies have a long history: In an earlier incarnation, Heinz owned the weight-loss program.

The joint venture plans to donate 10% of profits to anti-hunger charities. Kraft didn't provide further details, though it said it would give more specifics later this year.

Kraft shares rose as much as 0.7% to $89.50 in late trading after the news was released. Weight Watchers also gained, climbing 1.1% to $12.15.

-- Bloomberg News