Ter Beke is to become What’s Cooking?, a new name that comes alongside a fresh strategy for the Belgium-based food manufacturer.

The cold cuts and ready meals maker is to bring its units across Europe under the new moniker and look to add more vegetable-based and locally-inspired products to its portfolio.

A “renewed strategy” also includes a series of goals to make the business “more sustainable”, CEO Piet Sanders said.

The targets include halving the company’s scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, compared to a 2021 baseline. By the start of the next decade, What’s Cooking? also wants 15% of its products to be “plant-based or vegetarian”.

Sanders said: “Jointly with our employees, What’s Cooking? wants to take its responsibility in the years to come and play a role in the wider world of savoury foods. Every day, we will take further steps by means of innovation, broadening of our portfolio and an increasingly sustainable chain.

“We not only focus our R&D activities on further developing a tasty and affordable animal, vegetarian and plant-based range of savoury finely sliced cold cuts and ready meals. We also focus on rendering our existing products, packaging and production processes more sustainable. This will require time and money but we have already allocated the resources to realise our ambition.”

Over the next five years, What’s Cooking? plans to invest EUR150m (US$158.6m) across various projects to implement the new strategy and work towards its ESG targets. The money will go towards investment in production and maintenance, with an eye on improving efficiency, the company told Just Food. It also plans to invest in areas such as energy use, water use and packaging.

In 2022, the company generated consolidated sales of EUR781m, up 12.1% on a year earlier. EBITDA fell 21.8% to EUR35.9m amid pressure on costs.

When the then Ter Beke announced the results last month, Sanders said: “The total cost increases approached a figure equal to double our 2021 EBITDA. The challenge was tremendous. The fact that we still managed to achieve around 5% underlying EBITDA on sales is a real achievement by the entire Ter Beke team which sought to create win-win partnerships with our stakeholders.”

Net profit slid 38.4% to EUR4.5m.

Asked if there are financial targets associated with the new strategy, What’s Cooking? said: “We do not commit on financial numbers at this stage. We do commit on strategy and the added value we believe that will have for sustainable profitable growth.”

The company, meanwhile, expects competition officials in Belgium and the Netherlands to rule on its planned acquisition of European meat processors Imperial Meat Products and Stegeman, a deal announced in 2021.