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Green Giant Fresh, based in Salinas, CA, is building a bridge between a virtual farming phenomenon and a real shopping experience with the launch of its promotion with Internet gaming sensation FarmVille.

While the rich heritage of the iconic "Green Giant" brand is no stranger to American consumers, FarmVille has taken the country by storm and in less than a year has become the No. 1 gaming application on Facebook, with nearly 80 million people playing the game worldwide.

Under the terms of the promotion, which was scheduled for a limited launch on May 19, consumers purchasing selected "Green Giant Fresh" products will see a coupon on the package that bears a unique code. Each one is redeemable on-line at www.TheGiant.com for five free Farm Cash dollars, the official FarmVille currency that players use to manage their own virtual farms in the FarmVille on-line community. A Facebook account is required to play the game.

"We are influencing shopping behavior by giving consumers an enticing new reason to visit participating retail stores," Jamie Strachan, president of Green Giant Fresh, said in a May 18 press release. "Further, we expect to increase in-store sales of companion products and general merchandise with a no- cost, no-discount promotion."