France: Salad manufacturer to launch halal line

France: Salad manufacturer to launch halal line

The Pierre Martinet group, specializing in the salads found on the shelves in major supermarkets, announced Wednesday they're launching halal dishes, a promising market in France, where they're in first place.

Already the market leader in salads and deli products (raw vegetables, tabboulehs, cheese, seafood, sausage-based..), the group, which achieved a turnover of 103.5 million euro in 2009, down by 2%, announced their move in a press conference.

Without specifying their prospects, Pierre Martinet said they aim to become number one in the halal deli market in France, occupying the 'upscale' niche market.

There are two other national brands in this sector: Herta and Fleury Michon.

Named "Nurdan's recopies" after Pierre Martinet's Turkish-origin wife, this new range of products will be sold by major retailers, like Auchan.

Negotiations are also ongoing with Casino, which has its own halal label, said Hassane Ouassidi, responsible for developing this new range.

The new products will also be sold in specialty shops and across the border, particularly in Belgium.

The Martinet group worked with the Lyon mosque for the certification. This procedure is a sensitive point. Halal food suffers from the lack of a single standard in France and the proliferation of certification bodies.

France does not have one halal label, recognized by the entire Muslim community, estimated at about 5 million people, the largest in Europe.

Three mosques - Paris, Lyon, Evry - are authorized to grant certificates, but there are many bodies which perform inspections, particularly in slaughterhouses, with different methods and definitions of halal.

The halal market is estimated at 5 billion euro in France and 15 billion in Europe, according to figures cited by the group.

Source: Le Parisien (French)

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