ITALY – Barilla, an Italian food company, has invested US$1.2 billion over five years to expand production and launch new products as the world’s biggest pasta maker responds to shifting demand.

According to Reuters, Barilla’s pasta and sauces have grown faster than its bakery business in recent years, and now account for almost 60% of total sales.

To respond to growing demand, the family-owned group will earmark part of its 2018-2022 investments to expand its two main factories producing pasta and sauces in Italy, according to Barilla’s Chief Strategy Officer Mariapaola Vetrucci.

The company will also invest in pasta plants in the United States and Russia, core markets for the group, Vetrucci said.

To tap growing consumer demand for healthier food, the group plans investments on product innovation, Vetrucci said.

Mirroring bigger rivals like Nestle, Barilla cut sugar and salt content in 12 of its sauces last year.

It also launched 10 new pasta products, including a range of whole grain pasta, vegetarian sauces and gluten-free crisp bread products.

Sales at the family-owned group rose 3% last year, at constant exchange rates, to reach nearly 3.5 billion euros, with pasta sauces growing nearly 10%, Vetrucci said.

“Feeding a constantly growing world population with good products, without damaging our Planet, is one of the biggest challenges of our time”, said Guido Barilla, Chairman of the Barilla Group.

“Supported by the daily commitment of over 8,000 people who work with us, we are ready to face this challenge”.
Food Dive said that in both Germany and Sweden, Barilla was committed to buying local raw materials – weather permitting.

100% of rye and rye flour is produced in the same country where the plants are located.  Rye is a precious grain containing many fibers and minerals.

Together with other partners, Barilla is carrying out Rye Power research to show the grain’s many nutritional and health benefits.
A true example of a product that is Good for You, Good for the Planet!

Since 2010, Barilla has reduced CO2 emissions and water consumption per ton of product by 82% and 15%, respectively, in its Wasa plants.

Furthermore, almost 70% of products moved from Sweden to Norway and from Germany to Sweden are transported by rail, thus achieving a 1,612 reduction of CO2 emission compared to 100% road transport.