// Marks & Spencer is the first major UK retailer to have an own-brand halal meat range
// The range is HFA certified and includes versions of popular prepared meals
// The ready meals will be available in 36 selected M&S stores across the UK
M&S Food is will be the first major food retailer in the UK to launch a range of own-brand halal prepared meals.
In response to the growing demand for a halal diet, customers will be able shop a range of six Halal Food Authority (HFA) certified prepared meals available from 36 M&S stores from November 6.
M&S Food technologists and its product development team have worked with HFA and suppliers to deliver halal certified versions of its most popular prepared meals.
The meals on offer include chicken arrabbiata, chicken & mushroom tagliatelle, chicken & leek bake, chicken hotpot, chicken jalfrezi and a chicken tikka masala.
“Protecting the magic of M&S Food means leading the way as food innovators, with first to market ranges that respond to growing dietary demands and can deliver real commercial impact,” M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin said.
“M&S Food is changing to become more relevant, more often to families across Britain and our new halal meal range is a great example of how we are broadening appeal so that more customers can enjoy our delicious, quality food.”
The new halal-prepared meal range will help M&S deliver a better localised offer in 36 M&S Food stores and will also be sold by M&S’s international franchise partner Al-Futtaim in overseas markets like Singapore and Dubai.
Colleagues across M&S that follow a halal diet have been instrumental in driving the development of the range.
“Following a halal diet, there are limited options if I want to grab something quick and easy for dinner,” M&S Temple Fortune store manager Simon Pollitt-Khan said.
“Whilst some major retailers are starting to stock Halal meat, there are still very few opportunities to eat different flavour foods – like Italian or more traditional British dishes – in a convenient halal format,”
“Knowing M&S’s heritage for innovation and the growing demand for halal food, I approached the food leadership team with an idea and it’s great to see it turned into a commercial reality.”
In May this year, M&S began stocking a range of Shazans-branded halal chicken products in selected stores and saw a strong sales response from local customers, which fuelled an investment in own-label development.