Monterey Pasta Company (Nasdaq:PSTA) yesterday announced continued progress in its private label agreement today with a major national grocery chain. The firm has begun shipping five varieties of gourmet refrigerated private-label soups to an initial 1,600 stores of the chain’s divisions across the United States. The selection includes Southern Style Corn Chowder with Rice; Savory Split Pea with Ham; Red Ripe Tomato and Basil; Tuscan Minestrone; and Monterey Clam Chowder. For proprietary reasons, the chain declined to disclose the alliance.

“Our private label strategy,” according to Lance Hewitt, president/CEO of Monterey Pasta, “of bringing high-quality, gourmet products into grocery chains under upscale private-label agreements was announced earlier this year. The initial distribution of fresh, refrigerated pastas and sauces to 400 stores of this major national grocery chain has now grown to distribution in over 1,600 stores. The addition of gourmet soups introduces the second phase of this strategy to bring high-quality, fresh, refrigerated products to the upscale private-label business. Combining production of private-label with Monterey’s branded products has proven to be a successful endeavor.”

Monterey Pasta is unique in that it is the only major independent producer of fresh, refrigerated pasta and sauces operating nationally and internationally. Focusing on healthy, all-natural fresh food with no chemical preservatives, Monterey Pasta is an innovator in fusing ethnic tastes and spices to create gourmet filled pastas and soups. Monterey Pasta has also just introduced a line of refrigerated, fresh stuffed pizzas and calzones.

Founded as a regional brand, Monterey Pasta now has national distribution in over 5,700 retail and club stores throughout the United States and selected regions of Canada and a part of Latin America. Monterey Pasta manufactures USDA-inspected, healthy, fresh gourmet refrigerated fresh pasta, sauces and soups at an integrated corporate headquarters/manufacturing facility in Salinas (Monterey County), Calif.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of uncertainties and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, include risks associated with the retention of key personnel and retention of key management, the risks inherent in food production, the risk that the private label relationship with the new chain is terminable at will, the risk that the Company may not realize the full potential of the relationship, and the intense competition in the market in which the Company competes. Future projections are based on the assumption that we will continue to sell in existing retail and club stores and will continue to add new stores. For additional information regarding these and other risks, please read the Company’s annual Report on Form 10-K, for the year ended December 26, 1999, its Forms 10Q for First Quarter 2000 and Second Quarter 2000, and its 2000 Proxy.

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