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UK halal specialist eyes European expansion

UK halal specialist eyes European expansion

UK-based halal food manufacturer KQF has agreed a series of deals that will see its products gain a strong foothold in fast-growing markets in France and other European countries, says the firm.

The company has recently secured deals with French retailers Le Clerc, Alphaprim and Paris-based distributor distFresh.

"Our research suggests that the European market for halal foods is buoyant,” said KQF managing director Faruk Vali. “It's currently worth around $30 billion and the figure is rising by approximately 15% a year.”

"Across Europe, Muslims are increasingly looking for high quality halal foods that are convenient but also of a reliable provenance. This is particularly true of a new generation of young, well informed consumers who - in the wake of the horse meat scandal and similar problems - want more proof of manufacturers’ halal claims.”

The new deals will see KQF partner with one the largest hypermarket chains in France to sell its Khan Exotique range that is made up of halal burgers, kebabs and sausages - all of which are made to authentic recipes from India and South Africa.

“France has the largest Muslim population in Europe - a little under 5 million - so we developed a new product range, Khan Exotique, as our way of reaching out to that market. European consumers seem to be responding very well."

"Le Clerc is a very important player in the market," Vali added. "It's also an excellent strategic partner because it has a high profile and it's expanding quickly. The listing of our products with such a significant retailer gives us an excellent means of introducing our halal certified convenience foods to an entirely new group of European customers.”

Certification and claims

"Increasing market awareness about the importance of proper halal certification is undoubtedly moving things in a very positive direction within Europe - not just for ourselves but for all Muslim consumers who want greater assurance about the integrity of their food,” explained the KQF director.

Vali added that while there are a number of halal certification bodies operating on the continent, the Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) is one of the best known “and it certainly seems to enjoy a high degree of respect.”

"Judging by feedback from overseas agents such as Asia Food Co, this has been a big factor in our success in the French market,” he said. “All KQF foods are manufactured in Britain under the full-time, on-site supervision of an independent HMC inspector, and this gives customers much-needed confidence in the products they buy.”

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