Belgium’s Setraco Foods breaks into ready-made meal market, introduces new CEO at SEG17

Big plans are coming to fruition for Belgium-based Setraco Foods, the company’s new CEO Erwin De Spiegeleire revealed in a press conference on Tuesday, 25 April during Seafood Expo Global / Seafood Processing Global 2017.  

The company, having recently built a new state-of-the-art facility, has been focusing on entering different emerging markets and ramping up its production value-added seafood in the form of convenient, ready-made meals. 

“We are [transforming] from initially being a leading player in frozen fish and seafood into being a leading player in frozen fish and seafood, and ready-meals. That is going to be an important change of direction,” said Spiegeleire.

Setraco has entered the ready-made meal market with its Cook’s Pride brand, which has been picked up by two major retailers, one in Scandinavia and the other in Belgium. The two contracts are expected to be fulfilled in July and September of this year, said Spiegeleire.

"We have now designed our new brand, Cook’s Pride," Spiegeleire noted. "And Cook’s Pride is the new kid in the family, and ‘pride’ is the key word – we are proud to serve the best possible frozen food to our customers. It’s a matter of being proud that our customers are eating our products, and choosing to include them on the shelves in the supermarket rather than another brand. It’s all about being proud of what we do.”

Asian, Indian, Western European, Mediterranean and South American cuisines are all featured within the Cook’s Pride brand, which was crafted in light of changing consumer trends, said Spiegeleire. More consumers now are single, strapped for time and interested in healthier options, meaning less meat and more seafood protein, and Spiegeleire said Cook's Pride ready-meals cater to those trends. 

Concern for the environment and seafood sustainability has also started to play a bigger role in consumer buying decisions, so Setraco is taking a more official stance in favor of those realms, Spiegeleire said.

“We’re making all the possible efforts to source sustainable fish from the ocean. It’s a matter of social responsibility, it’s a matter of taking care of our planet and conducting business in a sustainable manner,” he said. “This is becoming more of an official position for us, and it has to transpire in everything we do. That starts internally with our staff, but also in the way we communicate, in the way we buy and source our products, in the way we process in our factory.”  

Lofty goals have been set by the importer-turned-processor, with the company looking to reach a turnover of EUR 75 million (USD 81.9 million) by 2021, and then EUR 100 million (USD 109 million) by 2026. Given that in its best year, Setraco achieved a turnover of EUR 50 million (USD 54.6 million), and with negotiations currently underway between the company and investors to help finance future growth plans, Spiegeleire said he believes the company is up for the challenge.


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