The world’s largest pasta maker is getting into home delivery via acquisition.
According to a report in Reuters, Barilla has acquired Pasta Evangelists, a London based startup that delivers fresh pasta meal kits to homes around the UK. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Reuters writes that two sources close to Barilla put the deal value at around 40 million pounds (~$54 million).
Here’s how Pasta Evangelists works. The company, which was founded in 2016, ships fresh pasta, sauces and aromatics in pre-portioned meal sizes to homes with next-day delivery. Users can choose from a selection of 10 different pasta menus per week, each serving typically priced around £7.00. Users can order individual meals or subscribe and save 15%.
Pasta Evangelists delivered over 1 million pasta dishes in 2020. The company’s already strong growth accelerated over the last year as more consumers stayed home during the pandemic and looked for ways to add quality meals to the meal plan. Barilla, which acquired the company through its venture arm Blu1877, said it plans to create a digital hub in London and work to integrate with Barilla headquarters.
Could this deal be a sign Barilla might expand into fresh pasta delivery beyond the UK? Maybe, but such a move would require significant investment in the form of regional fresh pasta production facilities and distribution capabilities.
No matter what, it will be interesting to watch what Barilla does next in a consumer market drastically reshaped by the pandemic.