Morrisons to start selling halal pick n mix
While most consumers understand the concept of halal meat, and its importance to certain groups of consumers, few people would even consider the possibility that sweets could be non-halal. However, many jelly sweets contain gelatine products derived from animals, so supermarket giant Morrisons is trialling a halal pick and mix counter at 10 stores, offering gelatine-free sweets to Muslim customers.
The new sweets are being tested at stores in Blackburn, Bolton, Preston, Bradford, West Bromwich, Birmingham, Leamington Spa and at three stores in London. There will be 36 halal-friendly sweets, including liquorice sticks, cola bottles, jelly beans, gummy bears and sugared lips which will be guaranteed to be free of non-halal animal products or alcohol-based colourings and flavourings.
The move has been welcomed by Salim Mulla, chairman of the halal sub-committee at the Lancashire Council of Mosques who said "Sweets are very popular with the Muslim community," he said. "I think the pick and mix will do really well."
Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said he also welcomed the introduction of more halal foods in supermarkets, adding that "more and more supermarkets are introducing halal products to meet the needs of the customers, but this is the first halal pick and mix I have heard of. A lot of Muslim children buy sweets, but often have to look at the ingredients to see if they are halal. It's good that they will be able to see they are halal at a glance."
So is this a genius move by Morrisons, identifying a genuine gap in the market, or will this just isolate consumers who were already happy with their Morrisons pick and mix? Of course, the trials are likely to be in areas where there are greater numbers of Muslim consumers, so if they aren’t a hit there, it is unlikely that the scheme will be rolled out across the country. And what about consumers who would prefer non-halal products- where are they going to pig out on cola bottles now?