Monterey Gourmet Foods today (8 May) posted a first-quarter loss of US$2.4m as commodity costs weighed on earnings.

The US-based firm saw its operating result swing from a $467,000 profit last year but insisted the business is "on track for a solid 2008".

Sales rose 4% to $25.6m and president and CEO Eric Eddings said growing demand for local or regional foods would benefit the company.

Eddings added: "Our goal is to capture that demand by developing reasonably-priced quality, healthy food products. I am excited about our progress in 2008 and our plans for the future."

Last month, Monterey secured full control of local cheese maker Sonoma Foods.