July 28, 2008

American Italian Pasta Company Introduces Pasta Lensi Pasta Chef(R) Brand For Foodservice

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Italian Pasta Company (Pink Sheets: AITP), the largest producer of dry pasta in North America and longtime leading provider of pasta to the foodservice industry, has extended its foodservice offerings with the launch of imported dry pasta brand, Pasta Lensi Pasta Chef(R). The company will offer 12 pasta shapes under the Pasta Lensi label.

Made with 100 percent durum wheat semolina, Pasta Lensi is a premium quality pasta imported from AIPC's pasta production facility in Verolanuova, Italy. Pasta Lensi is produced using the traditional Italian "trafilatura al bronzo" process of extruding pasta through bronze dies to create a rough and porous texture that provides the best cooking performance as well as superior sauce absorption and holding. The unique shapes offered by Pasta Lensi, including Trottole, Conchiglie and Gigli, offer operators the opportunity to create signature dishes that differentiate their menu offerings from the competition.

"With rising food costs on several foodservice staples challenging the profits of foodservice operators, pasta continues to offer a way to not only control food costs, but also to deliver new and exciting dishes to customers," said Brian Fox, Vice President of Foodservice at AIPC. "AIPC offers a complete menu of foodservice pasta options that are distinctly different in the added value they bring to a foodservice operator or chain. And by integrating old world pasta making expertise with AIPC's state-of-the-art manufacturing technology and focusing on delivering outstanding quality and service, AIPC continues to be a leader in the foodservice channel."

"Pasta Lensi is an ideal pasta for authentic Italian, fine dining or upscale casual restaurants that are looking to differentiate themselves with an imported Italian pasta offering," said Mark Anthony Prece CEC, AIPC's Corporate Executive Chef.

MenuTrak, a survey conducted by Restaurant Hospitality and completed in April 2008, found that an increasing amount of foodservice operators are adding new pasta dishes to their menus. According to the survey, 62 percent of the 2,000 commercial foodservice operators polled currently offer dishes made from dried pasta and 17 percent plan to add or increase dried pasta use on their menus in 2008.

AIPC's broad range of pasta products provides a complete menu of quality and health-focused pasta options that reflect the evolving preferences of consumers and the needs of AIPC's customers. In addition to Pasta Lensi, AIPC offers the following pasta brands for the foodservice channel through broadline and specialty foodservice distributors across North America.

* Ravarino and Freschi(R) (R&F) -- This popular St. Louis retail pasta brand -- founded by two Italian immigrants in 1901 -- was extended to foodservice in 2007 as AIPC's marquee domestic brand of pasta for this channel. The R&F brand has more than 40 traditional pasta shapes and sizes, including a variety of uniquely flavored pastas, which complement a range of sauces and culinary applications. The pasta holds its shape well while maintaining an al dente "bite."

* Heartland(R) Pasta -- The health segment of the pasta category has continued to experience significant growth and better-for-you pastas are appearing on an increasing number of restaurant menus. Heartland Pasta, already recognized throughout the country as a popular better-for-you pasta offering sold through the retail channel, is a good choice for institutions in the education and healthcare sectors and a way for commercial operators to position their menus as offering healthier options. Heartland Pasta is currently offered in four varieties for foodservice: Heartland Whole Wheat, Heartland Whole Grain, Heartland Naturals (organic) and Heartland Plus with ALA Omega-3.

* Montalcino(R) Pasta -- AIPC also extended its Montalcino Pasta brand to value-oriented foodservice customers as part of the foodservice brand expansion last year.

Founded in 1988 and based in Kansas City, Missouri, American Italian Pasta Company is the largest producer of dry pasta in North America, with brands including Mueller's(R), Golden Grain(R), Heartland(R), Martha Gooch(R), Pennsylvania Dutch(R), Montalcino(R), R & F(R), Luxury(R), Ronco(R) and Anthony's(R). The Company has four plants that are located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri; Columbia, South Carolina; Tolleson, Arizona; and Verolanuova, Italy.

American Italian Pasta Company

CONTACT: Hannah Arnold or Casey DePalma, both of Linden Alschuler &Kaplan, Inc. Public Relations, +1-212-575-4545, for American Italian PastaCompany