updated 3/2/2011 9:45:26 PM ET 2011-03-03T02:45:26

SAN FRANCISCO, March 2, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diamond Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq:DMND) today announced that its Emerald brand achieved record sales, and market share of 11.6 percent of the shelled snack nuts category in the U.S. grocery channel for the most recent four week period. 

For the first time, Diamond Foods developed and executed a Super Bowl promotion including all three of its snack brands called Snack Bowl 2011. The promotion was supported with national print, online and social media. Diamond placed more than 10,000 merchandising shippers in stores across the country as part of the promotion. 

The Emerald brand grew 18 percent to an all time high in sales during the four week period surrounding Super Bowl XLV. The brand grew over seven times faster than the category in U.S. grocery stores in this time period and gained 150 basis points of market share despite lapping last year's strong promotional period behind the introduction of Emerald Dry Roasted peanuts. In all U.S. outlets, the brand grew 23 percent and gained 170 basis points of market share.  

The other two brands in Diamond's snack portfolio, Pop Secret and Kettle Brand, also delivered strong performance in the period. Pop Secret outgrew the microwave popcorn category and gained 70 basis points in market share in the grocery channel. In addition, Pop Secret performed well in all outlets, gaining 80 basis points of market share and increasing distribution by over 1900 stores in the mass channel. The brand gained additional distribution in the club channel as well. Kettle Brand outgrew the potato chip category in both the grocery channel as well as the natural channel, gaining 10 and 20 basis points of market share respectively. 

"We are very pleased with the performance of our snack portfolio, and Emerald in particular given the strong year ago comparables the brand was facing," said Andrew Burke, Chief Marketing Officer of Diamond Foods. "We are making great progress in expanding our brands across multiple distribution channels and providing the support they need to perform well on the shelf."   

Sources: AC Nielsen U.S. Grocery, 4 weeks ending February 19, 2011; AC Nielsen U.S. FDMx, 4 weeks ending February 19, 2011; SPINSscan Natural Supermarkets, 12 weeks ending January 22, 2011.     

About Diamond

Diamond Foods  is a high-growth, innovative packaged food company focused on building, acquiring and energizing brands including Kettle® Chips, Emerald ® snack nuts, Pop Secret ® popcorn, and Diamond of California ® culinary and snack nuts. The Company's products are distributed in a wide range of stores where snacks and culinary nuts are sold.

The Diamond Foods, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6112    

Corporate Web Site: diamondfoods.com

Consumer Web Sites:  emeraldnuts.com, kettlebrand.com, kettlefoods.co.uk, popsecret.com, diamondnuts.com, and diamondsnackbetter.com    

Note regarding forward-looking statements: This release contains forward-looking statements as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements necessarily depend on assumptions may be incorrect and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from projections made in this release. Some factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations include risk of loss of key customers, availability and pricing of raw materials and an increase in competition. A more extensive list of factors that could materially affect our results can be found in Diamond's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They are available publicly and on request from Diamond's Investor Relations Department.

CONTACT: Investors:
         Linda Segre
         SVP, Corporate Strategy
         (415) 230-7924
         lsegre@diamondfoods.com
         
         Media:
         Stephen Sibert
         VP, Corporate Affairs and Communications
         (415) 445-7439
         ssibert@diamondfoods.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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