The Italian food company Barilla Group launched a new venture capital fund and innovation hub, called Blu1877, to support innovators in creating the future of sustainable food. “We decided to set-up Blu1877 to interact and support the effort of those that are creating the future of food. We are inspired by the joy of eating good food. Good food that support people live healthy lifestyles and leave a healthy planet to our children,” states the Blu1877 website.
The name for Blu1877 reflects the color of Barilla’s product packaging and the year the company was founded. The group is seeking seed-level investments in products related to bakery goods, pasta, fruit-based products, condiments, sustainable and Mediterranean diets, and meal solutions. Companies will be able to use Barilla’s pilot plant for further development and small-batch production runs.
Barilla was founded in 1877 as a bakery shop in Parma, Italy by Pietro Barilla. The company is privately held, and remains in the fourth generation of Barilla family ownership and control through three brothers, chairman Guido Barilla, and vice chairmen Luca Barilla and Paolo Barilla.
Barilla Group controls Barilla (multinational pasta maker), Mulino Bianco, Pavesi, Voiello, Alixir and Academia Barilla (Italy), Wasabröd (Sweden), Misko (Greece), Filiz (Turkey), Yemina and Vesta (Mexico) trademarks. The group produces many kinds of pasta, and is the world’s leading pasta maker with 40-45% of the Italian market and 25% of the US market.
Barilla Group is also the promoter of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation, which develops research projects with the mission of creating a world where food is produced and consumed according to sustainable development practices, for the benefit of present and future generations.
The goal of the BCFN Foundation is to contribute to international scientific research through a multidisciplinary approach, tackling various aspects of sustainability in today’s food systems. This includes issues such as sustainable agriculture, nutritional challenges and food waste.