Italian pasta brand, Barilla has announced regional expansion to the African continent following the opening of its Middle East and Africa (MEA) headquarters in Dubai in 2014.
The company works with more than 2,000 retail stores, 5,000 restaurants and five airlines, across the GCC, excluding Saudi Arabia.
The majority of the brand’s regional distribution is in UAE, Qatar and Oman served by the Dubai headquarters via regional partners.
Loay Elkhouly, managing director, Barilla – MEA said: “Since opening our Dubai MEA head office we have continued to experience increased demand from the region’s hospitality industry for Barilla’s Italian pasta products.
“We continue to focus on the company’s Italian rooted culture of providing delicious nutritious and convenient food that is healthy, convenient and good for the planet.
In addition to increasing its distribution in the Middle East & Africa region, Barilla has set a series of goals for 2020 to help promote healthier consumer choices, reduce the impact of food production on the planet and spearhead community focused initiatives.
The ‘Good for you, Good for the planet’ sustainability report launched this year by The Barilla Group highlights that in the past five years, the company has reformulated 219 products with less fat, salt and sugar, increased fibre and more wholegrain varieties.
The company has also increased its purchase of raw materials from responsible supply chains by threefold from 6 – 18%, with the goal to reach 100% by 2020.
In addition, Barilla has reduced water consumption by 19% and decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 23 % per ton of product.
Elkhouly added: “Our challenge and opportunity for further growth is twofold – educating consumers on the health benefits of pasta while encouraging consumers to experiment with new ingredients and cooking techniques, particularly in a market where rice and noodles are the traditional choice.
“Barilla offers more than just ingredients but inspires foodies through our Barilla chefs, nutritionists, a recipe app and numerous other platforms.”
Founded in Parma in 1877, today The Barilla Group owns 29 production sites (14 in Italy and 15 abroad) and exports to more than 100 countries.