Barilla Plans U.S. Restaurants
Italy's Barilla SpA plans to launch a chain of Barilla-branded restaurants next year, aimed at boosting Americans' consumption of pasta products, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The initiative is expected to start with a pilot eatery due to open by the end of 2013. Barilla is not offering further details.
Barilla's new CEO, Claudio Colzani, to formally assume the head role in October, sees the rising costs of beef and other proteins as an opportunity to up consumption of brand's pasta, sauces in U.S. and other countries.
In 2011, the U.S. contributed just €365 million euros ($457 million) to Barilla's overall revenue of €3.9 billion, mostly through grocery store sales of dry pasta (up from €220 million in 2006).
Barilla hopes to diversify its sales with products like ready-made, microwaveable meals. Those meals, launched in the U.S. this past February, had sold 4 billion packages as of June, although reading products' success will take at least a year.