Pasta Evangelists, a maker of fresh pasta and a Barilla subsidiary, has opened its first factory in the UK, featuring state-of-the-art pasta-making equipment.
Located in North Acton, London, the 4,645-square-metre factory will produce over 50 tonnes of fresh pasta, over 90 tonnes of sauces, and 15 tonnes of baked pasta every week.
The establishment will fork out – no pun intended – a variety of pasta shapes, including some that have never been made in the UK before, such as ‘Pasta Dragon’.
It will also use state-of-the-art machinery to experiment with new flavours and ingredients.
The £13 million (€15 million) factory is part of Barilla’s plan to expand its fresh-pasta business in the UK.
The new factory will allow for more efficient fresh-pasta production and quicker delivery to customers. Pasta Evangelists also plans to open new stores across the UK.
Barilla’s CEO, Gianluca Di Tondo, believes that there is significant growth potential in the UK market, as the average per-capita consumption of pasta is only 3.5 kilograms per year.
Di Tondo also said that Barilla is considering expanding the fresh-pasta factory concept to other countries in the future.
In 2021, the Italian pasta giant acquired Pasta Evangelists, a UK-based fresh-pasta and -sauce delivery service. Since then, the company has seen rapid growth and expects to generate sales of £34 million (€39 million) by the end of 2023.
The COVID-19 pandemic boosted Pasta Evangelists’ sales, making it grow by over 300% in 2020, compared to 200% in 2016 – the year that it launched – with more than one million portions of pasta sold.
According to a Reuters report in August of this year, pasta lovers must brace themselves for paying higher prices for their favourite dish, as drought in Canada and bad weather in Europe damaged crops of durum wheat and reduced supplies to flour-millers and food companies.