Good for You

Good for You
Good, safe, nutritionally balanced, quality range of products

"Good for You, Good for the Planet" is the strategy adopted by Barilla to give its contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations.

Sustainable Development Goals
For Barilla means

To improve the nutritional profile of existing products and to launch new products that are in line with the Double Pyramid model.

To promote informed dietary choices, inviting people to adopt balanced lifestyles and a sustainable diet

In the United States and Europe about 60% of the population is overweight and 30% is obese
In the United States and Europe, which are Barilla’s reference geographies, about 60% of the population is overweight and 30% is obese. The situation is better in Italy where, thanks to a wider knowledge of dietary models in line with the Mediterranean Diet, less than 15% of the adult population is obese, even though a growing percentage of overweight and childhood obesity is being recorded.

Percentage of overweight (BMI: body mass index > 25) and obese population (BMI: body mass index > 30)

1 CDC, Obesity and Overweight

2 WHO, Global Health Observatory (GHO) data - Overweight and obesity 

3 Istat, Indagine Multiscopo sulle famiglie “Aspetti della vita quotidiana”. Year 2014

The number of people with diabetes is growing

The number of people with diabetes has also been on the rise in the last fifteen years. In Europe and in the United States the number of people affected by this disease, which is strictly related to eating habits, has doubled. More than 29 million Americans and 59 million Europeans are diabetics.

The main cause of the spread of diabetics is the adoption of sedentary lifestyles and poorly balanced diets, together with high sugar intake.

In the United States sugar consumption can reach 120 grams per day in adults and 160 grams in children, values by far exceeding the intake recommended by the WHO, which is about 50 grams per day.

 obesity4(%)Grams of sugar/day5
United Kingdom63.4093.00
United States67.30126.00


4 World Health Organisation, GHO database / BCFN – Food Sustainability Index.

5 Euromonitor / The Washington-Post Where people around the world eat the most sugar and fat.

Barilla's main actions


We are committed to offering quality products in line with the Nutritional Guidelines developed in collaboration with the Nutrition Advisory Board, a group of international experts specialised in various areas of nutrition, that establishes the limits in the content of sodium, fat, sugar, calories and fiber for each product category. 

By 2020 we want to have 90% of our products in line with our Nutritional Guidelines: 

(The data does not include Russia)


commitmentsour main results
Guaranteeing the highest level of quality and food safety to people. For this reason we apply rigorous international standards and controls throughout the whole supply chain through a quality management and food safety system.

By 2020 we want to have 100% of volumes compliant with quality and food safety standards:

(The data does not include Russia)


commitmentsour main results
Besides offering safe and nutritionally balanced products, we consider essential to meet people’s expectations as regards taste so that they always find their choice fully satisfactory. Be people’s  #1 brand for taste.

118/100: Barilla products taste index 18 points higher than the market average

Source: Results of “Brand Health Check”® benchmark survey carried out by Millward Brown in 12 reference markets for Barilla products.


commitmentsour main results

To inform those who choose Barilla products on the right amounts and method of consumption, we are increasing the number of products that show scientifically relevant information on nutritional values right on the pack and we are committed to promoting a correct food culture by advising on a balanced diet and providing suggestions on product use.

We want to promote a correct pasta culture: passionforpasta

Packaging and product sites with consumption suggestions:

Through the "sì.mediterraneo" project, developed in collaboration with the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine of the Federico II University of Naples and the contribution of the Nutrition Advisory Board, we promote correct eating habits in order to favour the knowledge and adoption of the Mediterranean Diet.

More than 7,300 Barilla People have been involved in the "sì.mediterraneo" healthy eating education programme.

We develop information campaigns that are in line with our “Good for You, Good for the Planetpurpose and collaboration projects with our trading partner to make people aware of sustainable and waste-free consumption models.

Initiatives for the dissemination of the Mediterranean lifestyle have been launched with retailers and community catering players: projects are in progress with Ericsson, Felsinea Ristorazione and Costa Crociere.

In 2016 we established a global partnership with our customer Carrefour to carry out an awareness campaign on food waste amongst consumers. The project will be implemented in Carrefour hypermarkets in Italy at the beginning of 2017, and it will be later exported to other European countries.
We have launched a new campaign in Belgium and Germany with video interviews to the Barilla brothers to circulate important messages of our “Good for You, Good for the Planet” purpose.
In Slovenia and Croatia we proposed a multi-brand campaign in different points of sale on the “Good for You, Good for the Planet” messages.

Our stakeholders are asking us
Partnership to disseminate correct eating habits

Establishing new forms of collaboration with local institutions, civil society organisations, trading partners of the retail and community catering sector to reach a wider public with scientifically relevant information on correct eating habits and lifestyles.

Brand and product information

Strengthening the ability to communicate Barilla's path to sustainability through its products and brands to promote awareness and favour consumers’ engagement.

Local Adaptation of messages and products

Diversifying offer and product communication according to the geographical areas where Barilla sells its product to better meet the demand of local consumers.

Transparency on origin

Developing the information given to consumers on the characteristics and origin of the product raw materials, integrating communication on packaging and digital channels.

Our collaborations

International Life Sciences Institute - ILSI


Share the international perspective and monitor the global trends on nutrition, health, food safety and the environment.


  • Define the Barilla annual work group dedicated to the project and attend the meetings.

Italian Chemistry Society SCI
› Inter-Division of Food Chemistry Group;
› Divisions of Mass Spectrometry and Analytical Chemistry.


Keep up to date on the topics of safety, health and food quality, through a dialogue with university research centres and other food and instrumentation companies.


  • Participate periodically in meetings and workshops and prepare official documents
  • Involvement as member of the Board of the Mass Spectrometry Division.

Italian Section of the European Technology Platform “Food for Life”


Share the European perspective to improve transfer of knowledge and consumers’ wellbeing, improving their health and longevity.


  • Participate regularly in the meetings.
  • Contribute to the drafting of official documents (such as the strategic agenda and the implementation plans).

Healthgrain Forum


European science network for research on whole grain cereals. Discussion and proposal platform for the definitions of "whole grain" for raw materials and finished products.


  • Participate in regular meetings and involvement in definition and the activities of the groups: "Technology" and “Nutrition”.

International Society for Mycotoxicology - ISM


Cooperate and promote the research on toxicogenic fungi and mycotoxin contamination in cereals, to improve food safety.


  • Participate periodically to meetings and workshops and to the scientific committee.

KIC “Food4Future”


Participate in the European debate to ensure that “food, nutrition and sustainability” will be topics presented at the KIC.


  • Participate regularly in the meetings.
  • Involvement in the Regional Council.
  • Contribute to the preparation of official documents.
  • Define and promote the national/European framework of funding initiatives.

CL.A.N. Cluster National Agrifood


Contribute to define the research strategies for the Italian agri-food sector, in dialogue with the Ministry for Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) participating in projects on nutrition and health, food safety and sustainability.


  • Involved as member of the Coordination Board.
  • Contribute to the definition of the strategic agenda and the implementation plans.
  • Direct Participation in the food safety project “Safe&Smart”.

Food Integrity Network


Share methods and systems common to the whole sector against food frauds and adulterations within the scope of the project Food Integrity financed by the European Union.


  • Involved as member of the Management Board and responsible for the “Industrial Integration” working group.

Different universities and research centres, and hospitals of international fame in Italy and abroad, including:

  • Parma University
  • Federico II University of Naples
  • Brown University > University of Toronto
  • University of Sao Paulo > Uppsala University
  • National Cancer Institute of Milan
  • Hospital of Parma
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland


Promote the joint development of scientific research projects to improve the knowledge on nutrition, quality and product safety.


Main Studies in progress:

  • In vitro and in vivo assessment of the glycaemic response to pasta and other high carbohydrate products.
  • Assessment of the association between pasta consumption, body weight and diabetes in the Italian cohort of the EPIC project.
  • How pasta can help the obese population in following a slimming diet.
  • Analysis of the programme for the promotion of wellbeing in the company.
  • Systematic analysis of the science of pasta with regards to the effects on health with a focus on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other relevant risk factors.
  • Pasta as an element in a low glycaemic content diet on body weight: meta-analysis.
  • Measuring pasta’s glycaemic index.
  • Rye weight: effect of a rye rich diet on the control of body weight.
  • Analysis of the results of the NHANES survey by the Center for Disease Control.
  • Comparison of the effects of the first digestion phases when eating pasta and other high carbohydrate foods.

Furthermore, the Group is actively involved in the initiatives promoted by the International Food Information Administration Council (IFIC), the Nutrition Foundation of Italy, the American no-profit organisation Oldways and the workgroup “Health and Wellness” of The Consumer Goods Forum.

2016 Focus
Better Nutrition

Quality, food safety and a correct nutritional profile are the objectives  that Barilla pursues every day in the development of its product portfolio, in line with the Mediterranean Diet Model.

Its commitment in this respect has been consolidated through:

  • Nutritional Guidelines that establish precise limits for each nutrient, in particular for fat, sodium, sugar and calories. These guidelines were defined in 2009 according to the recommendations for a balanced diet established at the international level,  such as for example the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” or the “National Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake Levels (LARN)”.
  • Plans for reformulating the recipes of existing products with the aim of improving their nutritional profile.
  • New products that are even better for the wellbeing of People and the Planet in line with the Double Pyramid model.  Some of 2016 key launches: Mulino Bianco Buongrano biscuits, 5 Cereali Barilla pasta, extension of the Mulino Bianco gluten free bakery range and gluten free pasta in America. Furthermore, the range of whole grain products was extended with the launch of whole grain sandwich loaf, piadina and Harrys new brioches with whole-grain flour.

Our Nutritional Guidelines, together with the Double Pyramid Model, represent Barilla’s reference point to offer products that are not only tasty and high quality, but that also contribute to the wellbeing of people and are part of a correct and balance diet. Since 2009 the “Better Nutrition” project for reformulating existing recipes has led to the improvement of 360 products. In 2016 special focus was placed on the reduction of saturated fat, by revisiting the recipes of 139 products.


Barilla Nutritional Guidelines were developed in collaboration with the Nutrition Advisory Board, a group of international scientists specialized in various areas, such as nutrition, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, microbiology, diabetology and bio-technology.
They are updated every three years to be aligned and compliant with the recommendations of international institutions.

The criteria used to define the limit values for nutrients have taken into account both the individual food nutritional content, and its impact on the diet of people.
Furthermore, during the last update, the thresholds of the main nutrients contained in the products sold as single-serve were recalculated.

The Guidelines contain the Nutrition Index, a list subdividing Barilla products into categories according to their level of compliance with the Guidelines.

Joy for YouTasty and appealing products, but at the same time very energy dense, the consumption of which is recommended with moderation.
Better for YouProducts reformulated in compliance with the Guidelines and the new products with one or more nutrients improved compared to category average.
Good for YouProducts that fully meet all the requirements set by the Guidelines.

Multiplying the products of the categories by the respective volume sold, an indicative value of the index of 93 was obtained in 2016. The Group had set the target to achieve 91.5 by 2020. The target has been exceeded and is being redefined.

The replacement of palm oil from our products

The product reformulation process was particularly significant in the last months of 2016, thanks to the replacement of palm oil with other vegetable oils having a lower saturated fat content.  During the year, we managed to reduce by more than 4,350 tons the amount of saturated fat and to reformulate more than 150 recipes.

This process started several years ago with bread in Italy and some Harrys snacks for the French market. In the month of May 2016, however, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a scientific study on process contaminants in vegetable oils and foods, which assessed the impact on health of some compounds found in a wide range of food products and in different vegetable oils, including palm oil.  The studies show that these compounds, if consumed in high amounts, may have toxic and carcinogenic effects because of a substance they contain: esterified glycerol.


Also for this reason, following a precautionary principle for the wellbeing of consumers, Barilla has accelerated the replacement of palm oil in its product range.

Today, the Barilla product portfolio uses more than 30 different types of vegetable oils, including in particular sunflower oil that grants a significant improvement of the products’ nutritional profile and better crunchiness.

2020 Objectives
By 2020 Barilla will improve people's lives by promoting consumer choices in line with the food pyramid
Quality and Nutrition
Raise the global volume of products in line with Barilla’s Nutritional Guidelines from
70% to 90%.
86% of product volume sold.
100% of Barilla’s product volume aligned with the most up-to-date standards for quality and food safety, as confirmed by external certification bodies.
99.4% of Barilla’s product volume.
Be the first brand and product for people in relation to taste and nutritional profile.
Barilla Brand, first choice for:
  • Taste index 118 vs market average 100.
  • Nutritional profile index 114 vs market average 100.
 © Brand Health Check, Millward Brown
Spread information on the “sì.mediterraneo” project to promote right food habits to all Barilla employees across the world.
Over 7,300 Barilla People involved.
Extend the “sì.mediterraneo” project through distribution and e-commerce channels.
Dissemination projects are in progress through catering and food service channels.
Offer people scientifically relevant information on food and nutrition through brand activities.
76% of products shows consumption instructions, suggestions on consumption quantities and indications for a balanced diet.
Nutrition Index Trend

The Nutrition Index is the tool developed by Barilla to have an overall indication of how much, year after year, the sales basket is in line with the Nutritional Guidelines adopted by the Group.


For this purpose, each product is classified in one of these families

  • Joy for You, it includes tasty and appealing products, but at the same time very energy dense, the consumption of which is recommended with moderation;
  • Better for You, it includes products reformulated during the three-year period in compliance with the Guidelines and the new products with one or more nutrients improved compared to category average;
  • Good for You, it includes products that fully comply with the requirements set by the Guidelines.

The Barilla Nutrition Index is obtained by multiplying the sales volumes of the products by the score given to the family.

The Group’s target by 2020 is to continue improving the nutritional profile of the recipes and to strengthen the offer of products complying with the Guidelines so as to keep an index above 91.5, which was the target value established by 2020 and now being redefined.



WHOLE GRAIN PRODUCT OFFER and Focus on specific nutritional needs

new whole grain products were launched or reformulated with an increased whole grain percentage in the brioche, soft bread, pasta, biscuit and rusk categories, in 2016.
To encourage consumers to follow healthier and more balanced eating habits, Barilla extended its range of whole grain products.
percentage of products for specific nutritional needs over total sales of the reference categories.
Barilla offer is also designed for those who have specific nutritional requirements with a special focus on coeliac disease related issues. For this reason, during the year, the gluten free and Protein Plus ranges were extended through the launch of 11 products that included bread, sauces, flour and pasta. 
Quality and Food Safety
Quality and Food Safety

The Group developed a rigorous quality management and food safety system that applies throughout the entire life cycle of the product, from the purchase of the raw materials, to production processes and product monitoring at the points of sale.

About 30 million Euro invested in prevention and quality control activities
2 million tests carried out to monitor quality and food safety.

Raw Materials Quality

To guarantee quality and to protect consumers’ wellbeing, Barilla carries out several control activities, starting from the selection of raw material and packaging suppliers to the verification of the batches taken in. Furthermore, monitoring plans are applied using targeted analyses and innovative techniques to prevent any risk of food fraud and adulteration. Every day, for example, at least one specialist entrusted by the company audits a supplier to make sure that the quality and food safety of our products are managed correctly.


of the raw materials complying with Barilla quality and food safety standards.

2015 data: 97.5%


of the batches of packaging materials complying with Barilla quality and food safety standards.

In particular, Barilla pasta food safety and quality are guaranteed by the control of the durum wheat supply chain through prevention and control activities. The company relies on selected durum wheat suppliers, who by contract must comply with “Barilla Specifications for Durum Wheat Cultivation and Storage”, which govern the use of plant protection products, limited to the amount strictly needed as anti-parasitic defence, according to methods and rules more restrictive than those of the current legislation in force. Barilla developed and applied a model to forecast the risk of Deoxynivalenol mycotoxin (DON) growth, already from pre-harvest phase in the main cultivation areas, in order to classify in advance the areas of origin based on risk and therefore establish the frequency of analytic tests to be conducted before purchasing the wheat.

For lots originated in areas classified “at risk”, the tests are conducted on all the lots of wheat purchased, and they are carried out by a third party to ensure independence and by using external accredited laboratories. The wheat entering Barilla’s mills follows a rigorous food safety plan based on the analysis of various risk factors, which includes testing for traces of mycotoxins, plant protection products and heavy metals.


The Group has had Good Manufacturing Practices in place for more than ten years that comply with the best reference standards for the industry. They include more than 1,200 rules about hygiene and health of premises, production areas and plants, as well as standards of behaviour for operators.


of product volumes complying with the most advanced international quality and food safety standards.

(The data does not include Russia)

2015 data: 98.5%

95.9 %

of the lots of finished product complying with Barilla quality and food safety standards.

2015 data: 95.8%


Quality at the Point of Sale

To safeguard the quality of the products all the way to the shelf, we monitor the phases of transport, storage and distribution, and share the expected standards of service – the so called Good Distribution Practices – with our logistics and distribution partners, encouraging them through training programmes and verifying correct application. Furthermore, product monitoring activities are carried out at points of sale to ensure full respect of quality and service standards.

2016 data: 13,700 items collected and checked in 385 points of sale

2015 data: 11,100 items collected and checked in 215 points of sale

Listening to the Consumer

Through various channels Barilla carefully listens to customers on product quality and safety with the objective of identifying and solving possible problems, and always being the #1 choice of brand and product for people.

 Assessment of Barilla branded products

  • taste: 118 vs. market average of 100
  • nutritional profile: 114 vs. market average of 100

Source: Results of “Brand Health Check”® benchmark survey carried out by Millward Brown in the following reference markets for Barilla: Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, Russia, Australia, USA and Canada. The taste index does not include market surveys in Russia and Italy.  114 vs. market average of 100.

2015 data

  • Taste index: 129
    Compared to 2016 on a like-for-like basis, data relative to Italy and Russia is included, data relative to UAE, USA and Canada is excluded
  • Nutritional Profile: 116
    Compare to 2016 on a like-for-like basis, data relative to UAE, USA and Canada is included.

Management of Critical Issues

Barilla developed a system for timely management of possible critical issues, which can rapidly activate diagnostic measures to identify the causes of a problem and put in place effective solutions.

In particular, in 2016, Barilla managed the following critical issues:

  • In the United States, in January a recall of pasta was issued, in concert with the Food and Drug Administration, for possible presence of metal pieces in the finished product.
  • In Italy, in July a voluntary and precautionary recall of breads and Mulino Bianco cakes was issued due to possible presence of metal pieces in the salt used for those products.

Barilla People Training on Continuous Improvement

With the goal to ensure maximum quality and safety of the products, the company has adopted an annual programme of update and training for Barilla People featuring in-depth seminars on the most current and relevant topics for consumers on food quality and safety. Specifically, in 2016 a seminar on allergens was organized with the participation of academic institutions and national and international research centres, such as the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), Maastricht University and Food Allergy Italia, as well as retail and supply chain partners. In 2016, in Italy alone, more than 3,600 hours of training were dedicated to product quality and safety.

Consumers Information
Consumers Information

Barilla is committed to guaranteeing completeness and compliance of the nutritional information shown on the products’ packs and the websites:

  • detailed nutrition labels,
  • recommendations on a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle,
  • suggestions on use, in particular about the ideal amount to be consumed and possible suggestions on how to best combine the products

In spite of the constant attention paid to providing correct information to the consumers, in 2016 a pasta shape was recalled in Brazil due to the failure to show on the label the warning on the presence of gluten.

76% of the products show consumption recommendations in a prominent position on the packs or internet sites, such as, for example, suggestions on the ideal amount to be consumed or suggestions for a balanced diet.

“Good for You, Good for the Planet” Communication

The “Good for You, Good for the Planet” purpose can be carried out only by engaging the stakeholders, starting from the consumers. This is why brand and product communication becomes an opportunity to expand and share Barilla values.

40% of the products show the commitment and the results reached by Barilla in implementing the “Good for You, Good for the Planet” strategy in a prominent position on the packs or websites.

In Belgium and Germany a series of videos was broadcast with the Barilla brothers telling about the company history and the journey towards sustainability undertaken by the Group. They also talked about the care and attention paid to quality of the products and health of the consumers. This campaign reached out to more than two million people in both countries.

In Italy the “La ruota del Mulino non si ferma mai” (“The Mill’s wheel never stops”) campaign talked about the progress on nutrition made by the Group with the innovation of the Mulino Bianco products and the benefits derived by substituting palm oil with ingredients with lower saturated fat content.  The “Con gli occhi delle Blogger” (“As the Bloggers see it”) project showed various food bloggers talking about Barilla sauces’ supply chain, the care for quality and attention to small details that characterize the whole process of preparation of the products from field to table. The videos have had more than 6 million views and the internet page dedicated to the initiative 130,000 visits.

In France a communication campaign dedicated to the advantages of organic products, both in terms of food safety and environmental impact, was launched and supported also by the posting of a new Facebook page.

Promoting Diversity

On the occasion of the Olympic and Paralympic games of Rio 2016, Barilla supported the Italian Olympic and Paralympic athletes through the initiative “Nutriamo un sogno” (“Let’s feed a dream”) with the goal of encouraging people, including those affected by disabilities, to practise sports activities and follow their dreams.

Sponsorships promoting correct eating habits and the Mediterranean Diet

In England Barilla sponsored an awareness campaign to promote healthy lifestyles and correct eating habits during the “North Run Marathon” in Newcastle, distributing information material on the reasons to love pasta to the more than 30,000 participants.  Within this initiative a communication campaign was started on social networks and the traditional media about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet with suggestions for healthy and tasty recipes.

In Scandinavia, through the Wasa brand and by supporting the consumption of whole grain bread, Barilla has been promoting healthy and balanced lifestyles. Tastings of Wasa whole grain products were organized during the sports  events “Swedish Classics”, in Sweden and “Birken” in Norway.

In Brazil Barilla started a cycle of training sessions in universities, offices and exhibitions on the subject of the Mediterranean Diet, and particularly on the Double Pyramid Model and the sustainability journey undertaken by the company. This initiative has involved more than 1,500 people.

Information on products formulated for those with special food requirements

In Italy Barilla promoted the consumption of gluten free products  through an information campaign on cooking websites and Facebook pages. This initiative resulted in 15,000 likes, 1,200 comments and it was shared 1,700 times.

In France this type of products was promoted with the launch of a new dedicated webpage, targeted offers at points of sale and a new TV commercial. Moreover, the launch of Harrys first gluten free bread was combined with a tasting event organised with the French association of gluten intolerance.

In Brazil the Group supported the “Gluten-free fair”, an event dedicated to the promotion of gluten free products and healthy eating habits. During the shows’ two days, Barilla offered to the more than 3,000 visitors the opportunity to discover the Double Pyramid Model and the Group’s range of gluten free products.