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Barilla® Launches Barilla Piccolini® – First Line of Miniature Pasta for Kids

Customized Scholastic Storybook Brings Family Together to Enjoy Wholesome Italian Meals

CHICAGO (April 24, 2008) /PRNewswire/ — With more parents working longer hours and balancing their children's sports and music lessons, family dinner can be a scheduling nightmare. In fact, only one out of four families eats together every night1. To help bring families back to the table, Barilla – the world's number one pasta maker - introduces Barilla Piccolini, the first line of miniature classic Italian pasta shapes.

Bite-sized Piccolini, which means "little ones" in Italian, are perfect for the whole family. Kids love the "just for me" size, while parents enjoy the traditional shapes and great Barilla taste. With a quick cook time of seven minutes, Piccolini keeps its "al dente" texture and is ideal for any pasta dish. Piccolini is available in four classic shapes – Mini Farfalle, Mini Penne, Mini Wheels and Mini Fusilli – and in grocery stores nationwide for the same suggested retail price as traditional Barilla pasta.

"Family meals provide a wonderful opportunity to connect and share the events of the day, but as a busy mother, I understand the challenge of finding time to sit down and enjoy a homemade meal that satisfies everyone's tastes," said actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, mother of two. "Piccolini is a great solution because it has a quick cook time and its bite-sized shapes add more excitement to family favorites like pasta with fresh vegetables, chicken or fish."

Storytime in the Kitchen

As part of its "Kids Italian Table" initiative, Barilla has teamed up with children's book publisher Scholastic to create a custom story and activity book about sharing family meals. Available in the May issue of Scholastic Parent & Child and on Scholastic.com, "Mealtime Magic" is filled with kid-friendly activities that capture the imagination of families and make cooking traditional Italian dishes a memorable experience.

"As the world's number one pasta maker, Barilla is passionate about bringing families together and teaching children to enjoy wholesome meals at an early age," said Kirk Trofholz, president of Barilla America. "Barilla and Scholastic strive to teach and inspire children to broaden their understanding of the world around them, such as the spirit of authentic Italian cooking."

The first 5,000 moms to provide proof-of-purchase of two boxes of Barilla Piccolini will receive a free copy of the Scholastic book "More Spaghetti, I Say!" For more details, visit Scholastic.com.

Visit www.BarillaUS.com to learn more about Barilla Piccolini and find easy recipe ideas for the entire family.

About Barilla

Since 1877, Barilla has been producing pasta and other grain-based foods for consumers around the world. The company's basic animating principle has been to make these healthy products affordable to all, no matter where they might be. Barilla has remained true to its entrepreneurial roots over the past four generations, by combining ancient Italian traditions with cutting-edge technological advances. The result is a globally successful company, built on a foundation of principles that allows for continuous growth to reach ever-expanding goals.

The Barilla Group - whose brands include Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Alixir, Pavesi, Voiello, Wasa, Misko (Greece), Filiz (Turkey), Yemina and Vesta (Mexico) and Academia Barilla - is the first Italian food group, headed by the Barilla family for over 130 years. The Group has 26 factories (13 in Italy and 13 abroad). It realizes 35% of sales in volume in more than 125 countries.

1"What America Eats 2007." PARADE commissioned Mark Clements Research, Inc. to conduct the What America Eats 2007 study.
The study was fielded among a U.S. national online panel of individuals ages 18 and over. 2,001 surveys were completed in July 2007. Responses were weighted to conform to U.S. census data. Results are accurate to within +/- 2% at the 95% confidence level.