The total market for halal consumers in the Netherlands is estimated by Statistics Netherlands at about 900,000 consumers. The halal consumer is rather poor in the supermarket, according to the founders of the food brand By Oummi. In most supermarkets, the range is often limited to a modest halal shelf with meat products or a limited range of halal frozen snacks. And the founders of the brand can think otherwise. By Oummi now launches ready-to-eat meals and soups from today’s world cuisines. Think of: Egyptian Koshari, Moroccan couscous with chicken or kefta and Greek-Turkish Soutzakakia. But also soups such as Moroccan harira soup and Mercimek, the famous Turkish lentil soup. The recipes were developed by the Moroccan-Dutch chef Mounir Toub, known for his cooking programs at 24Kitchen.
Rachid Lamrabat is one of the founders of By Oummi and also owns strategic research firm Tiqah (and author of the book Ethnomarketing – the confidence of the New Consumer). He has over ten years of experience in the field of so-called “ethno marketing” and conducting research into what is called “The New Consumer”. According to him, there are often misunderstandings among food marketers who want to reach the Islamic target group.
Hole in the market
Lamrabat: ‘Halal consumers enjoy consuming, eating and relaxing just as much as non-halal consumers. The difference is that their consumer behavior is partly inspired by certain religious and cultural values. We are now seeing a new generation of halal consumers, also referred to as Millennial Muslims in research circles. They do not want to be addressed solely on the basis of their Muslim identity. But just good food, with friends from all cultures, preferably with a lot of ease, without having to compromise on religious values. We started By Oummie partly because we needed it ourselves. Why do I – as a halal consumer – have to sacrifice an entire weekend to walk from store to store to make my purchases? With By Oummi we jump into that gap with a range of easy meals. All meals are halal, but we don’t want to position ourselves as a halal brand. We make quality world meals, and by the way, the products are halal too. Even halal foodies who embrace world cuisine should feel at home with us. ‘
By Oummi literally means “from mama” in Arabic. According to the makers, the brand wants to pay tribute to all mothers in the world. ‘Everything is prepared on the basis of authentic recipes, as mother makes it, that’s the idea.’ The products have been on sale in Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands since the week of November 16, 2020, at 350 stores. Earlier this year, the supermarket chain already launched a special Ramadan brochure with offers of lentils and dates, among other things, around the month of fasting. On Allerhande.nl a special Ramadan page was then set up with recipes and background information. View it here.
(PvWK in collaboration with MP / image By Oumni)