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    Diamond Foods Reaches Record Sales

    Snack company sets new milestones in volume and distribution.

    SAN FRANCISCO -- The most recent quarter was one of growth for Diamond Foods Inc.

    In grocery stores, sales of its Emerald snacks grew 22 percent for the four weeks ended Nov. 29, 2008, surpassing $5 million—the highest one-month total since the brand’s introduction in 2004. This resulted in a market share gain of 120 basis points to 6.5 percent, according to the company.

    Since the company’s mid-September acquisition of the Pop Secret microwave popcorn brand, Pop Secret sales grew 7 percent over the prior year period; the brand’s market share is now 24 percent.

    In the value channel, Emerald’s new line of 100-calorie, portion-control products will reach national distribution levels four months after being introduced to the market. This is a result of being authorized for inclusion in the snack aisle at an important mass merchandise account beginning in January 2009, Diamond Foods reported.

    The company also improved its penetration in the non-food channel. Emerald snacks, including its Glazed Walnuts and Almonds, Deluxe Mixed Nuts and Smoked Almonds, can now be purchased on board three major U.S. airlines, as well as a number of retail shops located in airport terminals.

    "We are very encouraged by the growth of our snack business as we approach the half-way point of our fiscal year," said Michael Mendes, president and CEO. "We continue to strengthen the quality of distribution, and introduce innovative, high-quality products and packaging in order to attract consumers to the category. We are also well-positioned with regard to the current economic climate and are successfully reaching consumers in more value-oriented channels where they are shopping more frequently."

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