UK: Brunei Halal targets $381m in 3 years from UK retail foray

brunei-halal-riceThe Brunei Times

THE Brunei Halal brand aims to become a $381 million brand in three years, as the government-backed premium halal food business readies for its supermarket debut in the UK, fast-moving consumer goods trade publication The Grocer has reported.

Beginning September this year, the Brunei Halal brand is expected to hit the shelves of 1,600 stores following a six-month trial in 150 independent retailers in the UK, The Grocer, quoted the chief executive officer of Brunei Wafirah UK, Dr Mohammad Nazir, as saying.

Brunei Wafirah UK is a subsidiary of Brunei Wafirah Holdings, which owns the Brunei Halal brand.

In a report published July 14, The Grocer quoted Dr Mohammad as saying that the product range, which comprises vegetarian ambient and frozen products including flatbreads, ready meals and soft drinks “had been redeveloped with a stronger focus on convenience and an on-the-go to appeal strongly to the younger part of Britain’s part of 2.7 million-strong Muslim community”.

He predicted the brand would hit £200 ($381 million) in the “first two to three years” in the UK, adding that it will be expanding to the rest of Europe the following year.

The products are sourced by Brunei Wafirah Holdings, which was founded in 2009 by the Brunei government.

The firm now plans to begin sourcing and manufacturing in the UK.

Dr Mohammad was quoted as saying that Brunei Halal would plug a gap in the “fragmented UK halal market” for an affordable, authentic and wide-ranging portfolio that could be traced from farm to fork a gap smaller brand had been struggling to fill due to lack of financial support.

“Our objective is to fully integrate the supply chain and guarantee we are in control of the complete process right the way through,” he was quoted as saying.

The CEO also said that to appeal to second and third-generation UK Muslims and Europeans in general, a range of halal core European dishes, including lasagne and cottage pies, is set to launch later this year alongside confectionary and British farm fresh-packed meat.

“Our brand will appeal to people irrespective of ethnicity and 20 per cent of our initial customers are not Muslims,” said Dr Mohammed in the report.

In April this year, the premium halal food business related 23 new products which include microwavable rice, cooking sauce and other on-the-go products, The Brunei Times earlier reported.

With the addition of the new range, Brunei Halal now has over 50 products carrying its name.

Brunei Halal brand products include new ready-made meal and sauce ranges.
Brunei Halal brand products include new ready-made meal and sauce ranges.

Chief executive officer Feby Latip was quoted as saying in the earlier report that the brand was committed to being a halal solutions provider to the world, and that this was well on its desired direction.

At present, the company distributes products via Brunei Wafirah UK, which was formed by the Brunei government in 2011.

Located at the Saltley Business Park in Birmingham, Brunei Wafirah UK serves a sales and distribution platform to the UK and European markets.

The subsidiary is also responsible for the import of products to the EU markets from the Australasia countries, the manufacture of the food for Europe and their export to the Middle East. Fitri Shahminan