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Halal - Anyone for Halalibo?
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 13 Apr 2008 Sun 04:07 pm

Leading sweets manufacturer Haribo has launched a Halal version of its products aimed specifically at Muslim children.

Haribo began selling the fruit-flavoured jellies, which have been approved by senior clerics, at Asda supermarkets earlier this month.

The sweets do not contain gelatin, which is unacceptable to Muslims because it is made of animal products forbidden under Islamic law.

Alcohol-based colourings and flavourings have also been taken out.

The only difference in the packaging is a green sticker with the word Halal written in English and Arabic.

It is the first time a major confectionery firm has launched a range of products for Muslim consumers.

At present the sweets are being sold only in areas of the North West with large Muslim populations, but there are plans to extend into other parts of the country later this year.

Eight varieties, including the top-selling Gummi Bears, are being distributed in Britain by Manchester-based businessman Neville Finlay, who claims to have been working on the idea for 15 years. He says the products have been a huge success.

The complex new manufacturing process, which involves replacing gelatin with naturally grown cells called hydrocolloids, is carried out at a factory in the Austrian city of Linz.

The sweets are then imported into Britain by Mr Finlay's company, Forest Tree Foods.

The 54-year-old businessman said: "There is a huge market out there for Halal sweets if you can get rid of the gelatin. The Haribos taste more or less the same as the standard product but their texture is a fraction softer and they are not quite so rubbery.

"Sales have been phenomenal. More than 10,000 packets are being sold each week and we hope to sign contracts soon with both Morrisons and Woolworths.

"We sell in mainly Muslim areas. The supermarkets give us instructions according to their customer profiles and then we react.

"I am an Orthodox Jew so my presence in the Halal market might be seen by some as a little weird. But there has never been any friction with my customers and I see the whole thing as a fine example of peaceful multiculturalism.

"The supermarkets have recognised that they can expand into this market without damaging their core trade by withdrawing existing products from their shelves."

Mr Finlay said an Imam from the Muslim Association of Austria had visited the factory to check on the manufacturing process and every ingredient had been given a Halal food certificate.

The Halal Haribos cost the same as the standard product - 79p for a 100g bag - and have their own display rack in some shops.

German firm Haribo, formed in 1920, is one of Europe's biggest sweet manufacturers, selling its products in more than 150 countries.

The first step in making the transition a bit smoother when the time comes for the takeover.

2.       Chantal
587 posts
 13 Apr 2008 Sun 04:15 pm

Ha good! I can never bring candy for my young friend in Istanbul because it always contains gelatine!

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