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Barilla Group Begins $36.5 Million Expansion in Ames, Iowa

The company, which makes the world’s top-selling brand of pasta, launched the project to install two new production lines.

Fri June 05, 2015 - Midwest Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

A $26.5 million expansion project recently began at the Barilla Group’s manufacturing facility in Ames, Iowa. The company, which makes the world’s top-selling brand of pasta, launched the project to install two new production lines dedicated to gluten-free pasta. In addition, raw material storage and related packaging and palletizing equipment to produce the pasta will be added.

General contractor Dean Snyder Construction began the project in late March, and production on the new lines is expected to begin by October 2015. It is anticipated that the project will create 23 new jobs when it is complete.

“This expansion signals Barilla’s commitment to providing delicious, versatile, and quality options for those living a gluten-free lifestyle,” said Jean-Pierre Comte, Barilla Group president, Region Americas. “The investment will improve product availability not just here in the U.S., but around the world.”

The gluten-free pasta produced at the Ames facility will be shipped to Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia, as well as locations across the United States. Made with non-GMO corn and rice, Barilla’s gluten-free pasta is available in four varieties — spaghetti, penne, rotini and elbows.

Barilla received support from local and state government to secure training grants and tax incentives for the project.

“We were originally sold on Ames because of Iowa’s incredible work ethic and its top-notch workforce,” said Comte. “We’re thrilled to be expanding our roots in this community and to work with a state that values and supports manufacturers.”

The Ames facility currently has 162 employees and four production lines. It opened in 1998, and was Barilla’s first manufacturing plant in the United States. The plant makes most of Barilla’s pasta cuts and is capable of producing 125,000 tons of pasta annually.

Barilla was created in Parma in 1877 out of a shop that made bread and pasta. Today, it is among the top Italian food groups. It is a world leader in the pasta and pasta sauce businesses in continental Europe, bakery products in Italy, and the crispbread business in Scandinavia.

Currently, the Barilla Group owns 30 production sites (14 in Italy and 16 abroad) and exports to more than 100 countries. Every year, its plants turn out around 1,700,000 tons of food products all over the world under the brand names of Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Voiello, Pavesi, Academia Barilla, Wasa, Harrys (Francia and Russia), Misko (Grecia), Filiz (Turchia), Yemina and Vesta (Messico).

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