Barilla Is Getting Sued Because Its Mediocre Pasta Isn’t Made in Italy

After buying $6 worth of pasta, the California plaintiffs claim the box is misleading

A blue box of Barilla pasta. Two Californians are suing the Italian company because they believe the marketing is misleading.
Barilla is in hot water.
Gado via Getty Images

Grocery store pasta brand Barilla has been slapped with a lawsuit because two Californians say its branding is deceiving. Matthew Sinatro and Jessica Prost are behind a class action lawsuit that claims Barilla’s slogan, “Italy’s #1 Brand of Pasta,” is misleading because most of its products sold in the United States are actually made in New York and Iowa, as NPR reports.

The company’s founder, Pietro Barilla, did in fact open a bread and pasta shop in Parma in 1877, where the company still has a plant. But when the Ames, IA and Avon, NY plants opened in 1998 and 2007, respectively, production was moved to these facilities for Barilla pasta sold in the states.

According to the company’s website, of pasta that is sold in the United States, only Barilla Tortellini and Barilla Oven Ready Lasagne are made in Italy. Even though the rest of their products are manufactured on the same types of machines used at their Italian facility, the boxes’ red, white and green motifs were too much for Sinatro and Prost, who so deeply regret their $2 pasta purchases that they decided to file a lawsuit. That’s not hyperbole, either. According to NPR, the two plaintiffs “spent a combined total of $6 on Barilla products.”

Misleading advertising certainly isn’t cool, but a quick read of the fine print probably would have revealed Barilla’s true origins. Regardless of how the lawsuit goes, if Sinatro and Prost are reading, take my advice that De Cecco and Garofalo are far tastier grocery store pasta brands.


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