2016 Focus - Good for You

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.