Italian pasta giant Barilla has finalized the acquisition of Catelli, a Montreal, Canada-based pasta firm in a deal worth around $130 million. Along with Catelli, Barilla has also acquired Lancia and Splendor pasta brands as well as a manufacturing plant in Montreal, Quebec as per the deal signed in October 2020. The acquisition closed late last week on January 29.
“In Barilla, we’re leading the charge in transforming the pasta category, and as a category leader worldwide, it’s our mission to be an architect of growth,” Claudio Colzani, chief executive officer of the Barilla Group said in a company press release. “Given the synergies between our business strategies, commitments and values, Catelli dry pasta is a natural fit for the expansion of our business. This acquisition will help underscore the importance of our responsibility to not only serve and satisfy the ever-changing needs of consumers through innovation but also to anticipate them.”
The deal marks an expansion of Barilla’s North America operations and comes less than a month after it purchased a majority stake in UK-based Pasta Evangelists, a direct-to-consumer brand specializing in fresh, high-quality pasta and sauces. This venture into the recipe boxes comes as the sector continues on an upward trajectory, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. While in its first year in 2016, Pasta Evangelists sold just 200 portions of pasta, that figure reached over one million in 2020.
Barilla also announced it will be investing around $1.2 billion (€1 billion) in Italy in the coming years to fund improvements to its existing pasta production sites and other acquisitions, among several other projects. Last year, Barilla purchased the Muggia pasta plant from Pasta Zara.
2021 is already shaping up to be an eventful year for Barilla, and the company wants to ensure its customers are getting the most of their pasta cooking experience. Timing is everything when it comes to cooking the perfect pasta, with different pasta shapes requiring different cooking times. That’s why Barilla recently teamed up with music streaming service Spotify to create a collection of playlists to cook pasta with perfectly-timed music.
Titled the “Playlist Timer,” Barilla and Spotify wanted to replace the kitchen timer while serving up something for everyone’s musical taste buds. There are a total of eight different playlists, each dedicated to various types of pasta and their cooking times, in different genres including pop, hip-hop and indie, all covered by Italian artists.
Having recently won the 2021 Catalyst Award for initiatives that have accelerated progress for women and increased inclusion, Barilla is not only being recognized by its customers, but also by industry leaders. The family-owned pasta maker is proving that the pandemic won’t stop its business ventures, nor its expansion.