The Halal Opportunity
Spending on Halal food and beverage represented 8% of the UK's total food and drink spend in 2016. By 2020 it was estimated to be worth £4.64 billion per year.
Research from the UK's Agriculture Horticulture Development Board, Pew Research Center and the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2019 all highlighted that Muslim diners eat more meat per capita than the general population. This was highlighted by the fact that they account for 20% of lamb consumption in the UK alone despite representing less than 5% of the total population.
With over 3 million Muslims in the UK today, a number set to double by 2030, the UK Halal food sector is one that is of growing importance to the national economy.
Halal is the Arabic term for permissable. When used in reference to dining it means food which has been prepared in line with Islamic customs.
Young Muslims represent a unique demographic which is on average 3x more likely to eat out compared to the previous generation. They are also better educated, have more disposable income and have more diverse social groups than their parents.
This means they collectively create demand for Halal experiences which has never been seen before. More and more young Muslims want to try new experiences, travel to new places and enjoy what they see on Instagram and TikTok. The problem is, they're not willing to compromise on their faith and so any food must be Halal.
Currently, the UK Halal food industry is very fragmented. There are over 18 separate Halal certification authorities, none of which are officially recognised by the UK government. Muslims come from different backgrounds and cultures which also means they interpret Halal differently. Some will not eat from restaurants that also serve non-Halal items such as Alcohol or Pork - whilst some are comfortable doing so as long as they are assured there is no cross contamination.
The industry lacks a mechanism that connects Halal diners to restaurants that can accomodate to their dietry requirements. Non-Halal diners have access to a plethora of tools such as TripAdvisor, Deliveroo, Yelp, Google Reviews, OpenTable which allow them to discover, book, order and dine at new restaurants.
Muslims, on the other hand, have to spend time filtering through options and reviews before cross-checking Halal certifications before they can make a purchase. It needs to be easier.
Halal Joints is an award-winning Halal food finder platform which curates Halal restaurants in cities across the world. We bring together the convenience of discovery platforms, booking platforms, discount platforms and verification platforms so Halal diners can search, book and eat at Halal-friendly businesses and establishments.
We have started in London, UK and are looking to expand across all destination cities worldwide. Our work is data and feedback driven. This means we assess where the demand is for our platform before launching in a new city.
Eventually, we hope to expand beyond just food and restaurants. Festivals, events, clothing, hotels, recreational activities are all part of our long-term roadmap of ensuring Muslims can live and travel anywhere in the world in comfort and ease. Inshallah.
Our long-term mission is to curate the world for Muslims. We believe social isolation as a result of faith and personal beliefs should no longer apply in a modern world. We want to curate all restaurants, hotels, events, festivals, supermarkets, clothing stores and recreational activities that can accommodate to Muslim needs and make them discoverable through our simple and easy-to-us platform.
In the meantime, our focus is on Halal culinary experiences.
One day the Halal stamp will indicate the very best food. The best quality ingredients, organically farmed, ethically produced, fairly traded and tayyib in every way possible. The essence of Halal is so much more than ritual slaughter. Halal is not just for Muslims.
This may take years to achieve, but we want Halal Joints to create a space to allow the community to take ownership of their diets.
‘Halal’ means different things to different people. Some consider that pre-stunning an animal before slaughter makes the meat non-halal. Others argue pre-stunning is essential to the definition of halal as it reduces suffering.
However after many thoughtful discussions with Nadeem Adam, Director of Operations at HMC, we realised just how far away from Halal we were moving.
Slaughter is only one part of Halal. For produce to be genuinely Halal we must also consider the rest of the animals’ life including living conditions, feed, age and rearing. There are so many improvements we can make to the supply chain before food hits our plates to raise the standard for “halal”.
Conquering the entire Halal market has never been our goal. Our absolute focus is on providing information with as much transparency as possible so people can make their own decisions. Therefore, our (controversial) philosophy is to collect and organise as much data as we can so foodies, diners, businesses and organisaions can make the choices they want.
Ultimately, we believe there is more good in empowering individuals with information rather than enforcing our own standard. We don't seek to be the source of truth when it comes to Halal, but we actively build technology to distribute data as far and as wide as possible.
We ask that Allah puts barakah in our work and helps us build a platform that positively contributes to society. Sometimes we get things wrong, and we ask you to correct us and be patient with us, but we believe with the support of the community we can build a Muslim-owned and Muslim-run tool that has a benefit to all.