RED BANK, N.J., Nov. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cono Italiano, Inc. (OTCBB:CNOZ) ("Cono Italiano" or the "Company") is a manufacturer of frozen foods and the distributor of "pizza cono," a drip-free, cone shaped pizza made from proprietary dough.
The Company's management team would like to thank the Company's shareholders for their support and patience during the past year in affording the Company the opportunity to promote its brand and build the Company's infrastructure.
We recently completed the expansion of the Company's USDA and FDA certified production facility in South Plainfield, New Jersey, and can now begin the manufacturing and packaging of our products for retail distribution. We anticipate delivery of the first shipment of printed microwave wrappers for the cones and empanadas to begin December 2012, and at such time, the Company will begin initial distribution to retailers and national food distributors.
During the summer of 2012, Cono Italiano introduced their "pizza cones" and empanadas on the boardwalks along the New Jersey Shore. The Company's products received a very favorable response, as reorders were placed weekly throughout the summer months.
In August, the Company implemented a testing program with convenience stores located within gas stations in the New York tri-state area. We placed the Company's products in approximately 25 locations, with the Gulf station entering the Holland Tunnel being one of the more successful locations, selling approximately 600-800 empanadas weekly. Further, our testing program indicated that customers prefer the cones to be sold in retail packaging for microwave or baking, and we will now introduce the cones in such form when packaged for retail. We anticipate building on this program and placing the Company's products in an additional 50-75 locations in similar areas.
We are currently selling products to one of the largest super markets and we are in discussions with several others for product placement. We plan to inform the Company's shareholders of further details concerning our customers in a separate release in the near future. Although the products are presently being sold in the hot food section, based on the results from the testing program, these customers will begin offering our products in the frozen food sections in retail packaging.
Our Canadian partner, MSU Foods, recently launched "pizza cones" in Canada at the Innovative Grocery Show in Toronto under the name "Pizza Cornetto." The product was well received with commitments from several customers that wish to sell this product in their stores. We anticipate several more customers will be placing orders in the coming weeks. Further, Cono Italiano plans to sign a distribution agreement with MSU Foods and their U.S. partners to assist with the marketing of the Company's products in the retail environment. They presently sell products to Wakefern Stores, A&P, Trader Joes, among others. We will work with MSU and their affiliates to develop gourmet recipes for the cones and empanadas in order to market to those consumers that crave the taste for Italian flavor.
In conjunction with the first production of the Company's products, the Company plans to change both the name and direction of the Company. We want to be viewed in the marketplace as a global food company, offering products throughout the world. Going forward, we plan to change the name of the Company to "Cono Foods," and accordingly we will apply for a new trading symbol to reflect this change. All of the Company's packaging will have the new name branded on the label. Further, we also decided to sever our relationship with Spuntibreak s.r.l., our previous manufacturer, as we have developed our own proprietary cone. As such, the Company will no longer be obligated to pay a royalty for each cone sold, thereby raising the Company's profit margin in the process. This new development will also allow us to work free of a licensing agreement and allow us to market our own proprietary brand, including all recipes.
Several shareholders have expressed concern regarding the price of the Company's common stock. As we are a growing company, we believe the recent developments are a large step towards the goal for the price of the Company's common stock to one day reflect what we believe to be the true value of the Company.
We are currently debt free to outside investors, as the only debt on our balance sheet is for deferred compensation to officers of the Company. We have an open line of credit with TCA Funding ("TCA"), of which the Company has used $250,000 of the total $1.5 million available to us. We are able to use the remaining $1.25 million over a 24-month period ending in February 2014. We do not have any future payment obligations if we do not use the remaining available funds. TCA received approximately 988,000 shares at closing in order to cover transactions costs of the credit line, which is equal to 4% of the entire amount. TCA exercised its right to sell such shares, which represented the recent selling over a two-day period.
In the future, the Company plans to provide the shareholders with Company information and developments as they occur.
About Cono Italiano
Cono Italiano, Inc. owns the North American distribution and manufacturing rights for Pizza Cono. This pizza cone is designed to be a drip free, spill free cone-shaped pizza made of proprietary dough and filled with freshly selected ingredients. The Company intends that the Pizza Cono will be distributed through the fast food market, including quick-service restaurants, takeaways and leisure locations. These establishments include typical fast food chains, supermarkets, convenience stores, entertainment facilities and sports arenas. Frozen pizza is one of the fastest growing categories in supermarkets and convenience stores. For more information, please visit www.conoitaliano.com.
The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to our future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects our current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
CONTACT: Cono Italiano, Inc. Mitchell Brown Chief Executive Officer Tel.: 1 (877) 330-2666Source:Cono Italiano Inc.