Italian pasta producer Barilla spent more on advertising between January and November last year than any other company.

The company spent €140.5m (US$178.9m) on advertising its biscuits and pasta products during the period, reported Il Sole 24 Ore, quoting research from Nielsen Media. This represents a 6% year on year increase, perhaps reflecting the marketing efforts that producers of starchy products are going to in order to offset the popularity of low-carb diets.

Another food company was second in the ranking, namely Ferrero, the confectioner, with €133.8m. Unilever subsidiary and ice-cream maker Sagit was fourth behind third-placed Fiat. Sagit spent €93.2m.