In 2002, Italy-based pasta company Barilla spent €1.8 billion, $1.9 billion, buying the German bakery chain Kamps and only managed to cover a portion of the price through sales. It sold the chain again, reportedly for under €50 million, in 2010.
Now, thirteen years after that costly mistake, the family-owned company has reason to rejoice again in Germany.
German sales have doubled in the past ten years, and the country contributes €200 million to Barilla’s total sales of €3.3 billion. According to Euromonitor, Barilla is No. 1 in the German pasta market with a 15-percent share, well ahead of fast-growing Ebro Foods, which has almost 5 percent. The company enjoys a 28-percent share in sauces and 47-percent share in the crisp bread market.
Barilla is also opening its first museum in Germany this week, showcasing the history of the company and the founding family in Celle.
Currently, the company has 9 percent of the global pasta market. “We want to reach a market share of 20 percent worldwide in pasta,” said Paolo Barilla, Barilla’s vice president and the great-grandson of the founder.