Sector News

Pasta packaging sparks lawsuit for Barilla

October 22, 2022
Food & Drink

Pasta manufacturer Barilla is being sued for alleged misleading claims on the packaging of 54 varieties of its pasta. On Oct. 17, Federal Magistrate Judge Donya Ryu denied Barilla’s motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit, which was filed June 11 in the US Northern District of California.

At issue in the case was the wording, “Italy’s #1 brand of pasta,” as it appeared alongside the colors of the Italian flag — green, white and red — on Barilla’s pasta packages. According to the filing, plaintiffs were misled by Barilla’s packaging to believe the pasta was made in Italy.

“The challenged representation has misled reasonable consumers, including plaintiffs, into believing that the products are made in Italy,” the filing stated. “However, contrary to this labeling, the products are not made in Italy, the products’ ingredients are not from Italy, and the products are not manufactured in Italy. Rather, the products are made and manufactured in Iowa and New York, with ingredients (such as the main ingredient, durum wheat) sourced in countries other than Italy.”

The filing further asserted that country-of-origin claims generally have, “a considerable influence on (consumers regarding) the quality of perception of a product. Relevant here, authentic Italian products, including pastas, hold a certain prestige and are generally viewed as a higher quality product.

“Indeed, the ‘Made in Italy’ claim has evolved into a brand that distinguishes Italian products from other products, specifically in fashion, food, furniture, and mechanical engineering. ‘Italian-Made’ branding is often associated with superior quality, extreme attention to detail, elegance, and a long-established tradition in manufacturing.”

Plaintiffs in the case purchased Barilla pasta for approximately $2 per box at grocery stores in California in the fall and winter of 2021.

By Lisa Berry


comments closed

Related News

November 27, 2022

Cargill to appoint Brian Sikes as president and CEO

Food & Drink

Cargill will appoint Brian Sikes as its president and chief executive officer on 1 January 2023. The soon-to-be CEO, currently holding the chief operating officer title, has worked at Cargill for 31 years. Dave MacLennan, who has served as Cargill’s CEO since 2013, will assume the role of executive chair of the company’s board of directors.

November 27, 2022

Wellness, self-expression drive the latest trends in colors and flavors

Food & Drink

Comforting colors, feel-good flavors, and unique food and beverage experiences will resonate most with consumers in the new year, according to ADM’s latest Flavor and Color Outlook. ADM anticipates that 2023 will be the year of self-expression, and the company identified four trends that are sure to stand out.

November 27, 2022

Nespresso unveils home-compostable coffee capsules in partnership with Huhtamaki

Food & Drink

Nestlé’s Nespresso brand will pilot home-compostable coffee capsules on the Nespresso Original system in France and Switzerland from spring 2023 before further launches in several other European countries within a year. The paper-based capsules are touted as a breakthrough in packaging technology after three years of R&D.