Oct 21, 2022 - Business

Barilla faces lawsuit over its Iowa-made pastas


Barilla pasta products seen in a supermarket. Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Some people aren't very happy that Barilla, which advertises itself as Italian, may be a bit more Iowa-talian.

Driving the news: Pasta purchasers Matthew Sinatro and Jessica Prost sued Barilla over the company's claim that its noodles are made in Italy.

  • The company's logos show Italian flag colors and the boxes tout "Italy's #1 Brand of Pasta." But Barilla actually makes its pasta in Ames and New York, the Washington Post reports.
  • A U.S. Magistrate Judge ruled on Monday that the case has enough merit to continue. Sinatro and Prost are seeking an unspecified amount of money, claiming they overpaid for their $2 pasta boxes.

State of play: Barilla pasta purchased in the U.S. is made domestically, but the machines the company uses are the same as their Italian plant in Parma, according to Barilla's website.

By the numbers: The noodle makers finished their $65 million Ames factory expansion in 2019, which produces 200,000 metric tons of pasta annually and employs about 214 people.

Between the lines: False advertising claims against grocery products are regularly filed because it's one of the last areas where consumers don't have to sign away their rights to sue, the Post reports.

  • While fighting over the source of $2 pasta may seem trivial, there is a difference in the nutrients of Italian pasta and consumers increasingly care about the transparency of their food sources.

The bottom line: If you’re looking for some loud and proud Iowa-made pastas, try out homemade noodles from Lucca and Allora.


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