You’ve probably encountered Barilla’s marketing slogan — that the product is “Italy’s No. 1 brand of pasta.”

But is it? A lawsuit says no.

Matthew Sintaro and Jessica Prost, the plaintiffs in the case, say they purchased multiple boxes of Barilla pasta thinking it was manufactured in Italy.

Maybe they should have first checked Barilla’s own website, which states that the pasta is in fact mostly produced in Iowa and New York, using Italian equipment.

“The recipe and the wheat blend are the same as that used in Parma, Italy,” the company says. 

Nevertheless, the lawsuit claims that Barilla’s marketing is misleading because, along with the slogan, its packaging uses the colors of the Italian flag, “further perpetuating the notion that the products are authentic pastas from Italy.”

The suit says Barilla positions its pasta “as authentic, genuine Italian pastas — made from ingredients sources in Italy (like durum wheat), and manufactured in Italy.”

Barilla was founded in 1877 in a small Italian town and is now an international food company.

A federal judge ruled this week that the class-action lawsuit can move forward after determining that the plaintiffs suffered “economic injury.”

The judge ruled that the pair made a reasonable case for believing Barilla pasta hails from bella Italia, and that they wouldn’t have purchased the product if they knew it was U.S.-made.

Barilla filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit but hasn’t otherwise commented on the case moving forward.

There are two takeaways here.

First, all businesses need to be mindful of marketing that can potentially misrepresent products. Prominent disclosures can help.

Second, consumers need to be savvy enough to seek answers to questions. I googled “Is Barilla pasta made in Italy?”

I got more than 400,000 results from the search engine making clear that, no, it isn’t.