California's Original Genuine Pizza Meets America's Favorite Candy Dispenser

Straw Hat Restaurants Launches Sweet PEZ Holiday Deal for Diners

Piedmont, CA,/24-7PressRelease/ -- Ho, ho, ho...Santa's got an extra gift this holiday season for Straw Hat diners. Despite tough economic times, Santa and his team are turning Straw Hat's 58 stores into a "Candy Land" thanks to a special promotion where children, young and old, will receive a legendary PEZ holiday dispenser with every purchase of a kid's meal.

In the spirit of holiday gift traditions, beginning this week, Straw Hat fans of the iconic PEZ candy will find a Santa, Reindeer, Snowman or Polar Beer in their Straw Hat Kid's meal. And, for an extra $1.99, they can purchase one of the collectible cartoon dispensers - from Disney characters to Marvel comic heroes, currently the rage on E-Bay where millions of PEZ fans tout themselves as PEZ -Heads.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to bring an American icon into our restaurants at a time when we're also celebrating five decades of popularity among our loyal pizza customers," says Jonathan Fornaci, president of Straw Hat Restaurants. "We're trying to offer value and quality to our customers, especially at a difficult economic time when the 'special' things are being pulled away. Americans love PEZ candy and we're excited to bring this gift to our customers this holiday season."

Indeed, the promotion unites two American culture and culinary icons: In 2009, Straw Hat is celebrating its 50th anniversary. At the same time, this premiere pizza and restaurant chain is planning a robust expansion across the western and southern states.

Similarly, for more than 80 years, PEZ Candy has been an integral part of American popular culture and continues to be enjoyed by generations of people. Known for its cartoon-head dispensers, PEZ has become a mega collectible item popular among kids and adults alike.

With the addition of chocolate last summer, PEZ now offers 13 flavors of its familiarly shaped candy tablets. Popular flavors include: grape, cherry, raspberry, lemon and orange. THE most popular character: Santa Claus, the premier character for the Straw Hat promotion. The character is PEZ best-seller of all time.

"We're excited to bring PEZ to Straw Hat because their customers are exactly the audience who appreciates the fun that can be found in these novelty candy and toys in one," said Keith Whitaker, marketing director for PEZ. "It's fun to partner with another American favorite - pizza." In coming months, PEZ plans to introduce several new assortments, which Whitaker says they plan to promote at Straw Hat as well. They include: The Wizard of Oz, Toy Story characters for the re-release of the movie; a Hello Kitty collection and Star Wars.

About Straw Hat Restaurants

Founded in 1959, Straw Hat Pizza is the originator of "Genuine California Pizza," comprised of 58 locations in the Western United States. The franchise recently was awarded the prestigious seal of Fair Franchising by the American Association Franchisees & Dealers (AAFD) and awarded "hottest franchise" by America's Hottest Franchise.

About PEZ Candy, Inc.

An integral part of the American scene for approximately 50 years, PEZ Candy continues to be enjoyed by generations of Americans. PEZ was first marketed as a compressed peppermint candy over 80 years ago in Vienna, Austria. The name PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint...PfeffErminZ. Today, over 3 billion PEZ Candies are consumed annually in the U.S.alone.PEZ Candy is manufactured in Orange, Connecticut by PEZ CANDY, INC. and marketed through supermarkets, mass merchandisers, variety stores, drug stores, convenience stores, toy chains and gift stores throughout the U.S. and in more than 60 countries across the globe.

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