You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

This U.S.-Made Pasta Brand Claims to Be 'Italy's No. 1 Brand of Pasta.' Now They're Facing Legal Trouble After two customers purchased Barilla pasta under the impression it was made in Italy, they are taking action.

By Sam Silverman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The Barilla pasta brand has found itself in some hot water over the Italian staple's city of origin.

Two customers, Matthew Sinatro and Jessica Prost, filed a lawsuit against the company after purchasing several boxes of Barilla pasta under the impression it was made in Italy. However, despite the company's slogan as "Italy's No. 1 brand of pasta," its products are produced in Iowa and New York.

With its slogan and the Italian flag on its packaging, the customers accused the brand of misleading consumers with its marketing, stating Barilla is "further perpetuating the notion that the products are authentic pastas from Italy," according to the lawsuit.

However, Barilla discloses on its website that products distributed in the U.S come from its local plants and not overseas, claiming to use the original machinery from Parma, Italy.

Barilla Pasta that is sold in the United States is made in our plants in Ames, IA and Avon, NY, with a few exceptions. Barilla Tortellini and Barilla Oven Ready Lasagne are made in Italy. Our Barilla Italy products state "Product of Italy, Distributed by Barilla America, Inc." on the packaging.

Furthermore, Barilla said its trademark is used to "invoke the company's Italian roots through generalized representations of the brand as a whole," and isn't meant for deception, according to the lawsuit.

Despite the brand's transparency online, a judge denied Barilla's motion to dismiss the lawsuit stating the customers suffered "economic injury" after purchasing the pasta under the false notion it was made in Italy. In addition to seeking monetary compensation, Sinatro and Prost are asking the court to stop the brand from using Italian likenesses in its branding.

"The most recent decision in the ongoing legal matter simply reflects the Court's early conclusion that the lawsuit can proceed," the brand said in response to the ruling in an official statement to Entrepreneur.

The statement continued: "Barilla remains committed to vigorously defend against these unfounded claims, as the wording on the box clearly states: 'Made in the U.S.A. with U.S.A. and imported ingredients.' We're very proud of the brand's Italian heritage, the company's Italian know-how, and the quality of our pasta in the U.S. and globally."

This isn't the first time customers have sued a brand for misrepresenting its products manufacturing location. A California-based man is suing Texas Pete Hot Sauce, which is made in North Carolina, for false advertising, claiming it is taking profits away from brands that are actually authentic to the region.

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

I've Had a Secret Side Hustle for Decades. It Keeps Tens of Thousands of Dollars in My Pocket — and Gets Me Into Places I Wouldn't Go Otherwise.

When Cliff Smith lost his job, he picked up an under-the-radar gig that would make it possible to keep dining out — something he and his wife love to do.

Business News

Google Is Reportedly Considering a Subscription Fee for AI-Enhanced Internet Searches

We had access to the core Google AI search experience, which is currently being tried in beta for select users. Here's what we found.

Business News

Apple, Amazon Cutting Hundreds of Jobs as Tech Layoffs Continue

Both companies are slashing workers across divisions.

Business News

Amazon Is Trading Its 'Just Walk Out' AI Technology For 'Smart' Carts — And AI Reportedly Needed Humans to Do the Job Right

Just Walk Out's AI relied on more than a thousand human workers in India reviewing videos of what U.S. Amazon Fresh shoppers selected.