By Alicia Buller
Founded in June 2016, gourmet meat delivery firm Halalnivore is one of the more inventive additions to the capital's thriving premium halal food scene
British Muslims have long lamented the lack of choices when it comes to high quality meat.
For many decades, finding halal meat in London often meant a trip to a side street butchers that offered little in the way of presentation, choice or branding.
But in the last two years, London’s halal foodies have been treated to an explosion of higher end meat eateries and suppliers.
Founded in June 2016, gourmet meat delivery firm Halalnivore is one of the more inventive additions to the capital’s thriving premium halal food scene.
Launched by three Brit-Muslim friends who packed in their day jobs, Halalnivore’s online service breaks the mold for home delivery services with its unique ‘curated’ halal meat boxes and fresh, hipster style branding.
The company has already clocked up around 2,000 regular customers and began to turning a profit after 18 months, the firm’s co-founder and CEO Walli Datoo tells Arabian Business.
The 37-year-old entrepreneur says he has tapped into the capital’s ‘latent demand’ for high quality halal food.
There are currently around one million Muslims in London and the overall value of the UK halal food market is £700 million, according to the Muslim Council of Britain. However, it’s not just Muslims who are demanding high quality meat.
Datoo says: “Our typical customer is anyone who likes top notch food, not just Muslims. We view ourselves as a lifestyle brand. We’re providing a premium service that didn’t exist before.”
Halalnivore delivers internationally sourced meat cuts across the UK, including the Isle of White and the Scottish islands. The concept is simple: any order placed before 12pm on a Tuesday will be delivered on Thursday the same week, otherwise the following Thursday.
“This is the best quality halal meat on the market,” claims Datoo. “We use the same suppliers as London’s five-star restaurants.”
The Halalnivore website lists curated meat boxes and allows the customer to customise their own box from a selection of burgers, steaks and lamb chops. The gourmet boxes also come with a selection of homemade rubs, as well as steak recipes and cooking tips.
Datoo says the company funding has been self-funded to date. The CEO is said his brand is currently being supported by industry mentors but is not yet seeking equity.
He says: “To get the brand out there we are doing a lot of social media and engaging food bloggers. We spend a lot of time working on our organic SEO.”
Datoo says Halalnivore is targeted mainly at time-poor, cash-rich 25-45 year olds. “We wanted to deliver something fresh and new… the halal market has always lacked branding and outlook. We’re here to change that.”
The company has a number of initiatives planned for the coming months, including ancillary products – such as chili pastes and special steak rubs – and a new range of recipes.
“We focus on recipes and cooking methods because that adds to brand loyalty. A lot of people hesitate to cook to steak because they think it’s difficult but it’s not. We show them that it’s not difficult to cook high quality food at home.”
Datoo says Halalnivore is facing more competition as the market grows and ‘Muslims are trying out new things’.
“We have seen that a lot of the old bricks-and-mortar butchers have seen what we are doing and they are trying to offer the same delivery service. We created this model but now they are in the online space,” he says.
To counter the competition, Datoo says he will continue to add to the product range. “Right now, we’re focusing on premium steaks and cuts.
"I want to extend the selection to home-style products: organic high-quality chicken, minced lamb and beef. I want to be your online halal butcher,” Datoo explains.