The Downside Of Big Brand Partnerships, According To Giada De Laurentiis

Giada de Laurentiis is no stranger to big brand partnerships. Her most visible collaboration was her 21 years with Food Network, during which she hosted the shows "Everyday Italian," "Behind the Bash," and "Giada's Weekend Getaways." During this time, she also lent her celebrity to various food and cooking products. In 2008, for example, she partnered with the Barilla Group — in what was the company's first-ever brand deal — for a product line that featured olive oil, an herb mix, balsamic vinegar, and more. Then, in 2010, she partnered with Target for a line of cookware items, though at least one of these was recalled following incidents of the cookware breaking and injuring six people.

In early 2023, de Laurentiis announced she would be leaving Food Network and had signed a deal with Amazon Studios to executive produce and potentially star in an unscripted series. Additionally, she announced her own pasta line, Giadzy Pasta, which is sold exclusively on de Laurentiis' website.

With all of this experience with partnerships, de Laurentiis has gained insight over the years about what teaming up with big brands entails. In a July 2023 interview with People, de Laurentiis reflected on the biggest downside of brand partnerships: lack of full control. The chef said, "At the heart of it, I'm a teacher and a storyteller, and when you're in a partnership with somebody else, you have to make compromises in that storytelling."

Giada de Laurentiis is happy to be out on her own

Breaking out with her very own pasta line and being able to develop and executive produce a show for Amazon marks an important milestone in Giada de Laurentiis's career. The chef told People, "I've had a rebirth in my career and in what I really want to do. Partnerships have been amazing over the years and I've been super lucky, but I haven't been able to really tell the full story."

De Laurentiis also noted that the work she is doing at Giadzy — selling Italian products with a fully women-run business model — is something that she has been dreaming about for decades. More than anything, the chef is grateful to be in total control, running the ship on her own, independent of any corporate interference. It's also been an excellent opportunity for her to learn those aspects of the business and grow along the way, giving her confidence in her vision for future projects. De Laurentiis said, "I feel like I'm learning so much in a world that I didn't really know much about in the past and owning it as we go through it. The mistakes are mine and the wins are mine."