Belgian retail group Colruyt has announced it is expanding its range of halal-friendly products to make shopping easier for its Muslim customers.
The retailer will introduce some 40 new products specifically aimed at the needs of the Muslim community in Belgium. The products will hit the shelves of 40 stores in mainly urban areas during 2018, according to Colruyt.
The new lineup will be made of vegetarian and non-alcoholic products, but will not include halal meat or any other products from animals that weren’t anaesthetised before slaughter, the retailer said.
"We notice that our current supply does not quite meet the needs of the growing Muslim community," said Guy Elewaut, marketing manager at Colruyt Lowest Prices.
"They are often families with children who shop price-consciously, and that is Colruyt's main target group,” he continued. “We want to serve all customers to the best of our ability and allow them to shop efficiently at the lowest prices. Adapting our assortment is one way to meet the needs of our Muslim customers better."
The retailer said it has more and more customers with various lifestyles including vegetarians, vegans, and people with lactose or gluten intolerances.
Like the veggie and gluten-free ranges, the new halal-friendly products will not be on their own separate shelves, but next to similar products all over the store, according to Colruyt.
The halal dietary rules according to Islamic law vary by interpretation, however, the retailer said it has taken input from its Muslim customers on how to implement their halal range.
"There is no worldwide unambiguous definition of the halal notion," Elewaut said.
"Our Muslim customers told us that they mainly look for vegetarian and non-alcoholic products because they are 100% sure to be halal,” he continued. “If there is no meat or alcohol in them, they do not have to doubt.
“Examples are sweets without gelatine and sauces without alcohol."
The new range will also feature in the retailer’s MyColruyt app in the ‘lifestyle preferences’ section, which will see the addition of a ‘halal’ option to the existing veggie, vegan and non-alcoholic preferences, according to Colruyt.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.