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