PARMA, ITALY — Barilla introduced 40 new products made with sustainable ingredients and reformulated 3 to improve nutritional profile, part of the company’s widespread efforts to advance on its sustainability goals during 2022.
According to the company’s 295-page “The joy of food for a better life” report, which was issued on June 26, Barilla also made progress on its efforts to innovate and lower carbon emissions, energy and water consumption in the production processes as well as advanced initiatives to promote sustainable supply chains and design packaging to be recyclable.
Nutrition remained a top goal for Barilla in 2022. According to the report, Barilla introduced 40 new products made with sustainable ingredients and for portion control in 2022, including 9 products with 100% whole grain flour, 5 products rich in fiber, 3 baked food products that are a source of fiber, 8 products with nuts or seeds, 8 products with cereal other than wheat, 2 100% legume and gluten-free products, 2 single-portion baked foods with less than 150 kilocalories and 4 formats of single-serving pasta. The company also reformulated 3 products to improve its nutritional profile in 2022: Merenda Pan di Stelle with less added sugar, Barilla Bolognese sauce with less saturated fat and Wasa Ideal flatbrӧd with less salt.
Food safety is another concern of Barilla, the report noted. The company introduced control plans that predict the performance of approximately four million tests per year at a global level and the constant monitoring of quality and food safety indicators that allow Barilla to “take action in case of deviation from the preset standards.” As part of these plans, the company added the Thermal Process Authority Unit, which defines essential guidelines such as time and temperature to be adopted during the production process for products that require heat treatment, the report said. Barilla continues to complete more than 2,500 tests per year on main emerging risks in the food sector using the FSSC 22000 certification, which helps the company find potential areas of improvement in its food quality and safety management, and more than 650,000 global tests per year to keep an eye on the quality and safety of raw materials and packaging.
Barilla also surveyed its supply chains. In 2022, the company’s supply chains that were managed with sustainability protocols and supply demonstrated “great resilience,” even after experiencing difficulties throughout the year, the report said. The total amount of strategic materials purchased in line with the company’s codes and principles on sustainability and animal welfare was 67%, which was down from 2021. According to the report, the decline is connected to the lower quantity of durum wheat harvested in Italy using the granduro.net system, the large drop in certified sunflower oil deriving from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the decline of Sweden’s responsible rye project. Despite the drop, Barilla still purchased 93% of durum wheat, the main ingredient in all the company’s pasta brands, from local markets in Italy, Greece, Turkey and North America and 47% through farming contracts. Meanwhile, the company purchased 100% of eggs that originate from cage-free hens. Barilla currently is working with more than 9,200 suppliers — 40% is in Europe, 35% is in Italy, 16% is in the Americas and 9% is in Asia.
Looking ahead, Barilla and its Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board, which is made up of experts in nutritional and branches of medicine from around the world, have evolved the company’s nutritional guidelines into the Nutrition & Wellbeing Framework since early 2023. According to the report, the framework aims to help Barilla offer nutritious products in the right portions, which fits into a healthy lifestyle and contributes to a comprehensive well-being while celebrating “the joy of food,” the report said. Due to this new approach, Barilla has created the 2030 Nutrition and Wellness Objectives and KPIs.
“Since 1877 our work has been fueled by the desire to surpass ourselves, coming to the present day with the same spirit as the founders,” said Paolo Barilla, vice president of Barilla. “This is the only certainty we have before us: a great deal of passions and still so much work to do."
For access to the full report, click here.