The UK kebab industry, Unilever and Just East have established the Kebab Alliance – a trade body to represent the sector's interests.
Chaired by Ibrahim Dogus, founder of the British Kebab Awards, owner of London restaurants Troia, Westminster Kitchen and Cucina, and chair of the British Takeaway Campaign (pictured), the Kebab Alliance will promote the industry and represent its interests with government and regulators. It will also seek to educate consumers and change stereotypical perceptions of the industry and its cuisine.
Areas of focus will include championing the nutritional benefits of kebabs; upholding the tradition of skilled, quality kebab-making; promoting best-in-class standards; ensuring a sustainable and ethical supply chain; and advocating an appropriate regulatory landscape.
Founding members of the Alliance include Just Eat, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Hellmann's, all major suppliers to the sector. Members will include suppliers, fine-dining restaurants and takeaways, as well as service providers. There are around 17,000 kebab outlets in the UK, supporting around 200,000 jobs and the industry is understood to generate some £2.8b every year.
Dogus said: "Kebabs are the fourth most popular takeaway in Britain, but this major food sector has never before benefitted from a collective voice. With the challenges we all face today, from the pandemic to new international trading relationships, it is vital that we work together. There has therefore never been a better time to launch the Kebab Alliance: a true representative of the British kebab industry and its positive role in communities around the country."
Matt Bushby, marketing director at Just Eat, added: "We are a long-standing supporter of the Great British Kebab Awards, which recognises excellence within the industry, but the launch of the Kebab Alliance will help give a significant additional boost to the sector, by raising its profile amongst consumers and championing the healthy, nutritional benefits of kebabs."
Horacio Cal, UK off premise and e-comm director at Unilever, said: "Kebab entrepreneurs are increasingly modernising what they have to offer, bringing the cuisine to a new generation of consumers, and we are delighted that our products can play a part in this ongoing success."