Marks and Spencer Food is set to become the first major UK food retailer to launch a range of own-brand Halal prepared meals in response to the growing demand for a Halal diet.
From 6th November, customers will be able shop a range of six Halal Food Authority (HFA)1 certified prepared meal across 36 selected M&S stores. M&S Food technologists and its Product Development team have worked with HFA and M&S suppliers to deliver Halal certified versions of its most popular prepared meals including; 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 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," said Stuart Machin, Managing Director of M&S Food.
Colleagues across M&S that follow an HFA 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. 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’ 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," said M&S Store Manager at Temple Fortune, Simon Pollitt-Khan.
In May this year, M&S began stocking a range of Shazans branded Halal chicken products in selected stores and has seen a strong sales response from local customers, which has informed its investment in own-label development. The new M&S Halal prepared meal range has a distinctive orange packaging design and logo (see image above) and will be stocked alongside the Shazans products.
The new Halal prepared meal range will help M&S deliver a better localised offer in 36 M&S Food stores across the UK and will also be sold by M&S’ international franchise partner Al-Futtaim in markets including Singapore and Dubai.
M&S has a far-reaching transformation plan to protect the magic customers love about its food – such as its innovation and market leading quality and sourcing standards, whilst modernising the rest. The new Halal range is the latest example of how M&S is refocussing its famous innovation pipeline to broaden appeal and develop products and ranges designed for busy families across the UK. In the last 12 months M&S has launched a series of new ranges that have delivered commercial impact, such as its Plant Kitchen range, catering for the increasing number of people who follow vegan and flexitarian diets. In September, M&S also launched Cook With – a range of over 100 time-saving ingredients that make it easier to serve up a quick and delicious dinner.