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//; Company is First Fresh Pasta Manufacturer With Complete Internet Presence

Monterey Pasta Launches On-Line Pasta Shop:; Company is First Fresh Pasta Manufacturer With Complete Internet Presence

SALINAS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 5, 1999–

Web Plans Include Positioning Site as a Pasta and Gourmet

Dining Portal

Monterey Pasta Company (NASDAQ: PSTA) today announced the opening of its on-line store.

The store is the latest addition to the Company’s web site – The store features Monterey Pasta’s refrigerated, fresh pastas and sauces. The company has plans to expand the store to include related non-food items such as cooking utensils and a pasta club shortly.

“The on-line pasta shop is the key to our overall e-commerce strategy.” stated Kevin Kiper, Monterey Pasta Company’s Marketing Planning Manager, who directed the development of the store and site. “The store will initially feature our new Restaurant Style pastas and sauces, and our new Gourmet Meat Sauces. It’s an easy and convenient way to get our products at home, and it is perfect for gift giving,” adds Kiper.

According to Lance Hewitt, Monterey Pasta’s President and CEO, “Selling on-line is a powerful way for us to leverage the tremendous brand equity inherent in the Monterey Pasta name. Adding e-commerce capabilities to our site makes us the first fresh pasta manufacturer to have a complete Internet presence. With the opening of our on-line pasta shop, consumers for the first time have the opportunity to shop for refrigerated, fresh pasta directly from home. Given the trends in e-commerce and Internet shopping, we’re very excited about the possibilities.” Hewitt details the Company’s Internet strategy as follows:

— Develop a truly national presence for Monterey Pasta Company products by increasing consumer awareness.

— Build demand nationally for Monterey Pasta Company products in areas that historically have had less access to our products.

— Leverage national consumer demand trends for upscale, more distinctively flavored products.

— Support our existing grocery and club store customers by increasing demand for our products and driving traffic into their stores.

Founded as a regional brand, Monterey Pasta continues to expand nationally, adding 264 new supermarket accounts in the last seven months for a current total of approximately 2,960 stores. The Company also has a substantial Club store business in Costco and Sam’s Club stores nationwide. Now in its sixth consecutive profitable quarter, Monterey Pasta in 1998 launched 30 new products, acquired the assets and recipes of the Marco Rossi regional brand, increased its plant cold storage capability by 45%, installed a line dedicated entirely to the fast growing tortelloni category and set single day production records on consecutive days in November.

Established in 1989, Monterey Pasta Company manufactures and distributes refrigerated, fresh gourmet pastas and sauces from an integrated 43,680 square foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in Salinas (Monterey County), California. The company’s products are found in more than 65 grocery and club store chains with over 3,300 locations.

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, including risks associated with the retention of key personnel, the risks of food production and intense competition in the market in which the company competes. For additional information regarding these and other risks, reference is made to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 1997, the subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and the 1998 proxy statement.

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