Barilla’s BLU1877 Announces The Good Food Makers Program in Collaboration with KitchenTown

An opportunity for food startups to accelerate with Barilla industry experts at their side

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 23, 2019) - BLU1877, Barilla’s venture firm, is announcing the launch of Good Food Makers, in collaboration with KitchenTown. Good Food Makers is a flexible 8-week program for startups to work alongside Barilla, a leading food brand, and ICC Corporate Member, to bring better, more sustainable food products to market.  “We want to develop a new legacy between Barilla, a family-owned company with decades of experience and traditions in food, and new entrepreneurs, who share the same vision to help people enjoy better lifestyles and build a better planet for future generations,” says Michela Petronio, VP of BLU1877. “We believe that change in our food system is accelerated when we work together,” says Rusty Schwartz, Founder and CEO of KitchenTown.  “We see startups struggle with a lack of resources and expertise, while legacy food brands wrestle with innovation. We believe that through collaborations like this, food startups with great ideas will achieve success faster.”

Once accepted into Good Food Makers, food startups will design a program with Barilla, customized to address their current challenges.  As part of the program, startups will travel to Barilla headquarters and pilot plant in Parma, Italy to test, experiment, and co-create new products and solutions.  Food startups and a team of industry experts will work side by side on the desired outcomes. A successful collaboration could look like a new product application, a more efficient manufacturing process or discovering new consumer insights.  BLU1877 has identified three focus areas that Good Food Makers will center around.  They are circular food economy, personalized meal solutions, and healthy snacking. Startups that are creating products or solutions in any of these areas are highly encouraged to apply.  Startups should already have a product or solution in the market.  KitchenTown has previously facilitated successful partnerships between BLU1877 and food startups, including ReGrained, Planetarians and The Organic Pantry Co.  In each case, the startup had their own unique challenge they needed help with, and worked directly with Barilla’s team to create solutions together.  


“Working with Barilla’s team has been invaluable to the growth of Planetarians,” says Aleh Manchuliantsau, Co-Founder and CEO of Planetarians, a food startup that upcycles the by-product from vegetable oil production into a superfood flour.  “I traveled to Parma, Italy where I tested and validated our upcycled SunMeal flour at a commercial scale. This validation is essential as we grow and take on larger orders and tackle bigger waste streams”. Applications are open now for Good Food Makers and will close on November 11, 2019.  Startups will be notified if they have been selected to participate by January 13, 2020.  

To apply and for more information go to


Barilla created BLU1877 to support innovators in creating the future of joyful and sustainable food.  Our mission is to collaborate with innovative food startups in the industry to catalyze the development of new sustainable food solutions.



KitchenTown enables a global community of innovators at every level of scale to co-create products and sustainable businesses that define the future of food. At their campus in Silicon Valley (and soon in Berlin, Germany), food startups have access to a production facility, food development lab, corporate partners and a thriving community of Makers.