Timed to coincide with Veganuary, a 31-day period when consumers are encouraged to try a plant-based diet to kick off the new year, Al Islami Foods has introduced plant-based, gluten-free burgers promoted as tasting and having the texture of real beef. The United Arab Emirates-based halal frozen products specialist has debuted 400-gram four-packs at retail stores in the Gulf region, and has plans for distribution to hotels, restaurants, cafés and other foodservice channels.
“It took our team eight months to research, test and develop this product, and we are proud to have created one of the healthiest and best-tasting vegan burgers in the market today,” said Shahid N. Khan, the company’s chief executive officer.
The vegan alternative faux meat burgers are made from a blend of organic, non-GMO sunflower protein, vegetable protein derived from fava beans and peas, beet root juice and extracts from onion, pepper, garlic, celery root, carrot.
“We believe that the plant-based food trend is here to stay as people explore different ways to diversify their protein intake and become more health conscious, said Zubair Ahmad, head of marketing at Al Islami Foods. “We look forward to expanding our plant-based range over the coming months to meet the needs of our consumers.”
Founded in 1970 by Haj Saeed Lootah as a small grocery business trading as the Dubai Co-operative Society, the company evolved and opened a food processing plant in Jebel Ali in 1991 to meet growing demand. As the business continued to expand, it was rebranded as Al Islami Foods in 2006 and stepped up exports to Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Shipments to the Seychelles and Libya began in 2009, followed by the Maldives in 2014 and Mauritius in 2015.
In 2017, Al Islami Foods inaugurated its largest food manufacturing factory for the brand in the Al Hamiriya Free Zone in the UAE. Spread across 10,000 square meters, it complements existing logistics facility in the Dubai Investment Park and has capacity to produce 17,000 tons per year.
Today the company’s extensive line of more than 100 frozen food products runs the gamut from chicken burgers and nuggets to grillers, beef and chicken kebabs, franks, other sausages, french fries, seafood items, vegetables, fruits, snacks and appetizers.
“Al Islami Foods has a long history spanning five decades of providing premium frozen food to consumers. Producing a plant-based product across our supply chain was the logical next step to bringing new value to this category,” said CEO Khan.