Belgian food processor Ter Beke is treating itself to vegetable dumplings after a semester marked by inflation. Investing half a million euros in Davai Dumplings should give the latter the opportunity to expand to Germany and the United Kingdom.
Renewed vegan strategy
Ter Beke takes a minority stake of 520,000 euros in Belgian start-up Davai Dumplings, which develops and produces vegetable dumplings for the frozen food section. The company aims to make easy snacks healthier and more environmentally friendly. Both companies are entering into a strategic partnership in which Ter Beke will take over part of the production and will help the start-up with its international expansion.
A large part of the production should move to the United Kingdom, where Ter Beke produces frozen meals with KK Fine Foods. At the same time, Davai Dumplings also has its eye on the German market. The brand has also been active in the Netherlands since last year.
“Davai fits in perfectly with our renewed strategy: plant-based, a good brand positioning, tasty and a quick snack. As a start-up, they retain full autonomy and we support them where necessary. At the same time, we at Ter Beke are looking forward to being inspired by the dynamic entrepreneurship of Ruslan and Maybritt”, CEO Piet Sanders says.
Profits plummet due to inflation
At the same time, the processed meats specialist has to admit that high inflation has already cost the company dearly this year. Although turnover increased by 9 % to 373 million euros, its gross profit (ebitda) fell by 34.4 % to 17.8 million euros and its EBIT even plummeted by 70 % to 3.8 million euros. It is also striking that the growth is entirely due to the ready meals division (+ 26.2 %), thanks to the “resumption of sales in the foodservice channel post-covid”. The processed meats segment, on the other hand, lost 1 % in turnover, due to the termination of unprofitable contracts last year.
“As with all players in the food industry, the first half of the year was characterised by sharp inflation in the costs of raw materials, packaging, energy and other costs. These price increases were passed on to customers in a responsible and transparent manner, but with a delay”, the company explains. For the rest of the year, the group will continue to focus on “passing on the exceptional cost inflation transparently”. Although it remains to be seen to what extent customers will continue to accept this, as Danone has just experienced at Delhaize and Lidl.