UK: Gourmet restaurants discovering halal

UK: Gourmet restaurants discovering halal

It has always been seen as a minority taste, dominated by specialist companies and independent retailers and largely neglected by gourmet restaurants.

But now the halal food market is seeing a surge of interest from mainstream producers and top chefs who are discovering a new market among young, middle class Muslims.

Sales of organic halal meat are up during the holy month of Ramadan, as Muslims prepare to mark the end of fasting with the festival of Eid al-Fitr this weekend.

Eid, "festivity" in Arabic, is typically celebrated with friends, family and good food, with many Muslims cooking a feast to mark the end of a month of abstinence from food and drink during daylight hours.

Upmarket restaurants have begun offering banquets complete with non-alcoholic cocktails to celebrate the end of abstinence and Harrods has introduced a range of halal gift confectionery to coincide with Eid.

There are an estimated 2.6 million Muslims in Britain, representing just over 3% of the population, but their appetite for meat outstrips that of the general population.

The market for halal fresh meat is estimated at £400m, equivalent to 11% of meat sales, according to Mintel.

Fast food chains such as KFC, McDonald's and Domino's Pizza are all working on trials offering halal meat, but options for upmarket dining have traditionally been more limited. That has now begun to change.


Source: Guardian

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