- Supermarket giant becomes first to introduce halal-only sweet counters
- Move being trialled in 10 stores around the UK based on local community
- Counters will sell 36 types of gelatine-free and alcohol-free sweets
- Muslim figures praise the move and say demand will be high
Morrisons supermarket is bringing in halal-only pick and mix counters so that Muslim customers don't have to check the ingredients of their sweets.
A selection of 36 sweets - including liquorice sticks, cola bottles, jelly beans and gummy bears - are on sale, all guaranteed to be free of animal products or alcohol-based ingredients.
The 10 stores trialling the scheme include Blackburn, Bolton, Preston, Bradford, West Bromwich, Birmingham, Leamington Spa and three in London.
Morrisons supermarket has brought in halal-only pick and mix counters to cater for Muslim customers. Two-year-old Faizaan Ali (right) was among the first to sample the sweets in the chain's Blackburn store.
The company, which has over 500 stores around the UK, has chosen the locations according to the make-up of their local communities.
John Brooksbank, store general manager of Morrisons in Blackburn, said: 'Many customers have asked us about Halal sweets, so we have designed and introduced a new range.
'We are the first big supermarket in the UK to do this. It's a large range so we hope that it will provide a sweet treat for every taste.
'We would consider introducing the halal sweets range at other stores, should there be a demand.
'Yummys, the brand available, is a recognised Halal confectionery brand, which we are also selling in single bags in our world food aisle.'
The supermarket has been praised by Muslim figures after announcing the move.
Husnaa Ali, nine, tucks in to the treats at one of 10 stores around Britain chosen to trial the new scheme
The supermarket says it has brought in the idea in response to demand from customers in certain areas
Salim Mulla, chairman of the halal sub-committee at the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: 'I think there are quite a few manufacturers who sell halal sweets but this is the first major supermarket to sell halal confectionery. I really welcome that.
WHAT IS HALAL FOOD?
'It is definitely something the Council of Mosques would support. Sweets are very popular with the Muslim community. I think the pick and mix will do really well.'
Until now, Muslims have had to look at the ingredients to see if the sweets are suitable to eat as some contain animal products which are not halal.
Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, added: '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.
'There will be financial reasons behind it. Businesses will not just sell products for social needs.
'Chains such as KFC have started offering Halal products to attract a new, younger audience and a larger demographic.'
Tolu Oshinowo, Deputy Store Manager, at Morrisons, Blackburn enjoys some of the 36 sweets on offer