Barilla brings back the love of pasta for Valentine’s Day - Brand Innovators

Barilla brings back the love of pasta for Valentine’s Day

Pasta and spicy meatballs covered in spicy marinara sauce is not the food most associated with Valentine’s Day, but Barilla is hoping to change that once again. 

The brand is bringing back its Barilla Love heart-shaped pasta – available in select grocery stores and at Nordstrom Restaurant Group locations – for another year. This year, the brand is upping the ante by asking consumers to take “The Pasta Promise,” a commitment to always eat pasta with your loved one. 

“The response to Barilla Love last year was so overwhelmingly positive, we had to go bigger and bolder for its second year,” said Jennifer Ping, vice president of marketing at Barilla US. “The idea of the Ring-a-toni came about as a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a sparkly twist.” 

As a further representation of that commitment, Barilla is giving consumers a chance to a set of two Barilla Love-inspired diamond and ruby encrusted rings – a.k.a. Ring-a-Toni – created by jewelry designer Alison Lou. The set is made up of two interlocking rings that create a sparkling set that look like the heart-shaped pasta.

“Alison Lou is the perfect partner to bring the Ring-a-toni to life. Her jewelry is fun, colorful, and simplistically playful which is spot on with the Barilla brand,” Ping said. “As a lifelong lover of pasta and creator behind the Mamma Mia jewelry line, Alison knows how to design and create jewelry that shows the ultimate sign of love.”

The Barilla Love pasta will be featured in special displays in select grocery stores around the country. In addition, Barilla is launching a menu takeover at Nordstrom Restaurant Group locations during February, where all the pasta recipes will feature heart-shaped pasta. The recipes will also be featured on Barilla’s Barilla Love website. 

“While only one lucky fan will actually win the Ring-a-toni but we want consumers to celebrate love in true Barilla fashion, sharing a delicious pasta meal with someone they love,” Ping said. “That is really the ultimate sign of love.”  

In addition, the Barilla Love product and Ring-a-Toni contest will be promoted through an integrated earned-media campaign, featuring influencers such as Grossy Pelosi and Katy Bellotte, that will highlight the Ring-a-Toni.