Hayward, CA, March 3, 2003

Today, Sakura, the inventors of gel ink, announced the introduction of Gelato 05, a retractable gel ink rollerball pen. Gelato is available in royal blue and black colors with a 0.5mm ball issuing a 0.3mm line.

As the acknowledged inventors of gel ink by Japan’s Inventor Society, Sakura has spent many years perfecting a retractable rollerball with a curved and comfortable barrel for writing. Peter Ouyang, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development speaks of the pen’s development, "Many other companies rushed retractable gel pens to the market, only to disappoint consumers. The extra time Sakura invested in developing Gelato will be immediately evident to people once they see and feel its performance."

Featuring a streamlined design and contoured clip, Sakura developed their new gel pen with professional and business use in mind. Ouyang relates how Sakura came up with the name Gelato, "Sakura’s original gel pen, Gelly Roll", is famous for its ice-cream smooth" line. We wanted to convey that strength yet tell people this is a more sophisticated type pen. A gel pen for the more refined pallet."

Because Gelato is designed for professional and business use, another important feature is its built-in auto-retract device. If a businessperson forgets to click Gelato shut, it will automatically retract when placed in a breast or jacket pocket, eliminating messy ink stains that might occur.

Sakura introduced the gel ink revolution to U.S. consumers in 1989 and enjoys great success with their Gelly Roll® brand and inventive styles of gel ink. Gel ink became so popular that Nielsen’s retail rating surveys listed it as the fastest rising office products category in 2001 giving it an office products category all its own. Gel ink and Gelly Roll pens have become so popular that fanatics have designed web sites devoted to the Gelly Roll pen and its qualities.

Gelato has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or msrp, of $2.16 per pen. It is also available in 2-packs of black and 2-packs of royal blue with an msrp e of $4.32 per pack. Gelato will also be available in a 24-pen point-of-purchase cup display featuring 12 blue and 12 black pens and in a 72-piece point-of-purchase display unit including 48 black and 24 blue pens.

Headquartered in Hayward, CA, Sakura of America is the U.S. subsidiary of privately held, Sakura Color Products Corp. of Osaka, Japan. Besides Gelato, Sakura invented gel ink and developed Pigma® ink technology along with many other high-quality writing instruments and art materials. Go to www.sakuraofamerica.com for more information on Gelato retractable gel pens.

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