Nudging for Good » Case Studies » BARILLA – Share the table

BARILLA – Share the table


Discover how Barilla managed to bring families back to the dinner table


1. What is the observed insight?

In the USA, 76% of people believe that the evening meal is the most important moment for bringing their family together. Furthermore 72% of kids feel closer to their parents when they have dinner together. However, one person in four says that they cannot manage to enjoy this moment convivially.

2. What is the behavioural challenge?

Barilla is on a mission to bring families back to the dinner table and the Group wants to provide tips and tools useful for families with a digital campaign, a viral video and educational projects.

3. Why should we embrace it?

Starting with the belief that a good meal, in line with the Mediterranean Model, should be eaten together with others. The project’s objective is to inspire, motivate and support American families in reinstating the traditional evening meal, thus contributing to their wellbeing. Barilla, as the pasta market leader with strong Italian roots, has a key role in nudging people to adopt right food habits in line with the Mediterranean Model, considered one of the healthiest food model and a UNESCO heritage.

4. The Nudge

PRINCIPLE: Barilla America, with “Share the Table”, wants to: 1) Strengthen emotional ties with American consumers, promoting correct eating habits in line with its “Good for You, Good for the Planet” way of doing business, 2) Increase consumption of “a plate of pasta” cooked in a nutritionally-balanced way for the evening meal. Pasta, in fact, is good for people’s wellbeing, affordable, inclusive and has a lower environmental impact compared to other foods:

EXECUTION: Through the website, an information campaign was launched based on suggestions which, for Barilla, are at the heart of a convivial evening meal. As well as the campaign, the project was diffused on social media through blog channels and nutritionists. A lot of fun tools (modern cookbooks, placemat creator…) have been developed to “involve” kids in the kitchen and provide nudges to arrange family dinners with adults and children.

One of the examples of a tool for children is the placemat –

In this case, with a simple tool, a placemat creation, Barilla “nudges” young children to spend time in the kitchen and, afterwards, to prepare their table and to invite their parents to join it. With this simple tool, Barilla wants to modify the current children’s attitude to “leave the kitchen” or the table, transforming the moment of dinner into a fun occasion.

5. Evidence path

LAB EVIDENCE: the project was supported by social research carried out by Professor William Doherty, Chairman of the “National Council on Family Relations”:

FIELD EVIDENCE: the campaign reached millions of US citizens: Barilla registered 2.1 million viewers of the “Share the Table” viral video and 91.6 media impressions. Furthermore, with its educational projects, “Share the Table” reached more than 5,500 children. Finally Barilla has increased the pool of “Share the Table” Advocates:

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