StarKist(R) Tuna Creations(TM) Reels in Big Sales Numbers Tuna Creations Expanding Tuna Consumer Base



    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- StarKist(R) Seafood, a
 division of the Del Monte Corporation (NYSE:   DLM), today announced that its
 new StarKist Tuna Creations(TM), introduced nationally in July 2003, has
 yielded a big sales catch for the company.  Additionally, data shows that the
 product has hooked new tuna consumers.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031013/CLM011 )
     According to StarKist sales data (AC Nielsen Scantrack Data, 9/20/03),
 FYTD consumption of StarKist Tuna Creations, a new line of marinated tunas,
 exceeded company forecasts by 37 percent.  In just 21 weeks, StarKist Tuna
 Creations achieved dollar shares in excess of 4 percent of the tuna category
 in 15 key markets.  StarKist Tuna Creations now out sells competitor pouch
 products combined.
     StarKist Tuna Creations can be enjoyed fresh out of the pouch or as an
 ingredient in sandwiches, salads and other recipes to create quick and
 flavorful meal solutions.  StarKist Tuna Creations is available in three,
 five-ounce Premium Chunk Light varieties, each combining a perfect blend of
 natural herbs and spices: Zesty Lemon Pepper; Hickory Smoked; and Sweet &
 Spicy.  StarKist Tuna Creations can only be found in the innovative StarKist
 Flavor Fresh Pouch(R), which features a fresher-tasting tuna that doesn't
 require draining or a can opener.
     "StarKist Tuna Creations is exploding in the tuna category just as the
 StarKist Flavor Fresh Pouch(R) did before it, and we believe it will infuse
 even more exciting growth into this business," said Don Binotto, managing
 director of StarKist.  "As of the end of August, consumers purchased more than
 three million pouches of StarKist Tuna Creations in just four months."
     StarKist Tuna Creations is convenient and flavorful and changing the way
 tuna is eaten.  Data shows (IRI Source of Volume Analysis, 11/02) that 11
 percent of StarKist Tuna Creations consumers are new to the tuna category.  An
 additional 18 percent are current tuna users who are increasing the amount of
 tuna they buy.  One-third of consumers say they eat it straight out of the
 pouch, compared to 8 percent who eat tuna directly from a can.  More than 20
 percent use StarKist Tuna Creations to add flavor to salads, compared to
 4 percent of canned tuna consumers.
     According to the positive responses from the Del Monte consumer 1-800
 number, StarKist Tuna Creations is making a real splash with tuna aficionados
 across the United States.  Comments ranged from "quick, easy and delicious" to
 "so good we felt we were cheating on our diet!" to "a great lunch option --
 especially since I don't have access to a microwave."
     "Tuna lovers want choices and options for making their meals healthy and
 delicious.  StarKist Tuna Creations offers a convenient way to add flavor to
 salads and sandwiches, but it is also a meal option straight out of the pouch.
 We're excited to see that the benefits of StarKist Tuna Creations are
 satisfying and expanding the number of tuna consumers," added Binotto.
     StarKist Tuna Creations offers consumers a choice of three flavors of
 marinated tuna, including Hickory Smoked, Zesty Lemon Pepper and Sweet &
 Spicy.  StarKist Tuna Creations is available in a five-ounce StarKist Flavor
 Fresh Pouch at a suggested retail price of $1.99.  It is currently on grocery
 store shelves across the country.  Consumers can learn more about StarKist
 Tuna Creations by visiting www.starkist.com .
 
     About Del Monte Foods
     Del Monte Foods Company is one of the country's largest and most well-
 known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded and
 private label food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating
 over $3 billion in pro forma net sales in fiscal 2003. With a powerful
 portfolio of brands including Del Monte(R), Contadina(R), StarKist(R), S&W(R),
 Nature's Goodness(TM), College Inn(R), 9Lives(R), Kibbles'n Bits(R), Pup-
 Peroni(R), Snausages(R), and NawSomes!(R), Del Monte products are found in 9
 out of 10 American households. For more information on Del Monte Foods
 Company, visit the Company's website at www.delmonte.com .
 
 

SOURCE Del Monte Foods

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