Dr Imran Kausar, CEO of Haloodies, which sells halal meat to retailers including Tesco and Amazon Fresh, told this site the business would start exporting meat for the first time in the company’s short history.
By September 2017, the firm hopes to have multipacks of two brand-new meat snacks flavours – hot and spicy, and chargrilled – stocked by major retailers in the UAE.
While the business is proud to be a British, Kausar said the UK market alone is “too small” to satisfy his “ambition to create a global halal brand”. And to truly stamp its mark on the global halal market, Kausar said the business needed to have “a presence in multiple markets.”
‘High protein snacks’
“Protein consumption in the Middle East is still very low relative to other parts of the world, and high fat high carb diets are still very high over there… We want to provide a high quality protein snack, so people can move away from unhealthy diets toward high-protein snacks that will be invariably better for them.”
Haloodies only decided to target the UAE as its first-ever export market in the past 12 months.
Before the UK voted to exit the EU, Haloodies had planned to crack France and Germany before the Middle East, but Brexit flipped this plan on its head.
While exporting for the first time is a challenge in itself, another big test will be offering an entirely new type of product to the market. Chilled meat snacks will be a relatively new protein category for the UAE, which has some beef jerky and biltong, but does not boast the same array of products as the UK, according to Kausar.
“We’re effectively launching a whole new category in the region – we’re here to do something different,” added Kausar. “This plan is partly driven by Brexit and our needs to focus on distant markets, but also because it [the UAE] is a large market and the opportunity is significant there.”
Haloodies is now negotiating will all major UAE retailers and hopes to export its chilled chicken snacks by September 2017, with a view to launching its full chilled, raw and frozen meat ranges into the market in the future.
Once the UAE is cracked, Haloodies will launch the range of meat snacks in the UK in October 2017, while France and Germany remain long-term targets for the business.