SALINAS, CALIF. – Monterey Gourmet Foods Inc. entered a multi-year licensing agreement with Aidells Sausage Company Inc. to use Monterey’s Casual Gourmet brand on protein products in exchange for licensing fees. The agreement becomes effective Feb. 9.

Tests on sample shipments will be made by Monterey Gourmet Foods to ensure specified quality standards, and the company retains the rights to the Casual Gourmet brand for non-protein products such as spreads and dips. The company will also no longer produce stock-keeping units under Casual Gourmet.

"Our Casual Gourmet sausages have been a popular item," said Eric C. Eddings, president and chief executive of Monterey Gourmet Foods. "However, the increasing production costs at our volume level have resulted in losses for years. We are excited we -- along with Aidells Sausage -- were able to construct an innovative solution. In this win-win situation, Aidells can leverage its production facilities and benefit from the brand equity we built, and Monterey Gourmet Foods can earn license fees and focus on core business prospects in pastas."

Aidells Sausage Company, founded by Chef Bruce Aidells in 1983, produces more than 25 sausage varieties for both retail and foodservice customers.

Monterey Gourmet Foods manufactures refrigerated food products from its plants in Salinas Calif.; Kent, Wash.; and Eugene, Ore.

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