SOURCE: Monterey Gourmet Foods

May 05, 2008 07:00 ET

Monterey Gourmet Foods Expands Product Offerings

New Introductions of Organic and Made With Organic Pastas; Completes Repackaging of Sonoma Cheese and Monterey Pasta Sauces; Improves Shelf Appeal and Reduces Costs

SALINAS, CA--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - Monterey Gourmet Foods (NASDAQ: PSTA) completed improvements for Monterey Pasta Company brands and Sonoma Cheese.

Monterey Pasta Company launched four new organic items and introduced two of the proven category leaders into new channels of distribution. In addition, the new packaging for all varieties of Monterey Pasta Company's hot filled sauces eliminates the cardboard sleeve as well as reduces costs. Sonoma Cheese stock-keeping units (SKUs) are now wrapped in eco-friendly parchment and delivered in a new block shape, which creates both more shelf appeal and a 25% improvement in yield. New SKUs for both Monterey Pasta Company and Sonoma Cheese are being shipped.

"Our vision is to offer quality, healthy food products at a reasonable price to support long-term growth," said Eric Eddings, president and CEO of Monterey. "Monterey Pasta was originally created in response to the public's growing interest in healthy gourmet foods. With continued high demand for organic foods and regionally sourced ingredients, we extended the brand by bringing more variation to the 'healthy for you' selections. We believe these new products exemplify our tradition of quality and innovation and give us an edge in the market."

"We designed new packaging that is more elegant, more cost effective and more production efficient. These improvements reduce waste and packaging materials, thereby enabling us to keep our prices competitive while increasing our 'green rating.' In addition, we are proudly displaying our California Milk Advisory Board's Seal of Approval on our Sonoma Cheese labels in time to celebrate National Dairy Month in June," Eddings continued.

Scott Wheeler, Monterey Gourmet Foods' CFO, added, "Based on competitive analyses, in March, we were able to increase prices for some SKUs. Additionally, we cut expenses with our repackaging program, which we expect to positively impact margins in the second quarter of 2008. We believe these actions deliver a win-win situation for our customers and our shareholders."

About Monterey Gourmet Foods (NASDAQ: PSTA)

Monterey Gourmet Foods manufactures USDA inspected, fresh gourmet refrigerated food products at its integrated 133,000 square foot corporate headquarters, distribution, and manufacturing facilities in Salinas (Monterey County), CA; Seattle, WA; and Eugene, OR. Monterey Gourmet Foods has national distribution of its products, which are sold under the brands Monterey Pasta, CIBO Naturals, Emerald Valley Kitchen, Sonoma Cheese and Casual Gourmet in more than 10,000 retail and club stores throughout the United States and selected regions of Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia Pacific. For more information about Monterey Gourmet Foods, visit www.MontereyGourmetFoods.com.

Contact Information

  • Company Contacts:
    Monterey Gourmet Foods
    Eric Eddings
    Chief Executive Officer
    Email Contact
    Scott Wheeler
    Chief Financial Officer
    Email Contact
    (206) 622-1016

    Investor Relations Contacts:
    Lippert / Heilshorn & Associates
    Kirsten Chapman
    Email Contact
    Christiane Pelz
    Email Contact
    (415) 433-3777