Specialized Foods – A Growing Market

The growing number of various ethnicities in Europe has lead to an increase in availability for specialized regional and ethnic foods, which in turn has determined both producers and retailers to focus on providing more options for consumers who seek specialities such as Halal, Asian, Mexican or other non Western European types of food.

Special dietary laws associated with certain cultures and their religious beliefs, such as the Muslim community, have been having a stronger impact on the food and drink industry in Europe. Producers, from the small and medium sized to giants such as Nestle, have begun to introduce products targeting certain immigrant communities, such as Halal foodstuffs. Moreover, retailers in various countries with significant ethnic populations are creating special aisles with products dedicated to them, as is the case with Carrefour in France, where the Halal market is estimated at over EUR 5bn. Although not as obvious as for other product categories, such as the shelf-stable and chilled ones, ethnic frozen food has become more available: product launches belonging to the Halal frozen food category have increased for example, retailers offering a wider range of goods, such as halal soups, sauces, cold cuts, baby foods and other processed foods.

Opportunities in Russia
According to research company Mintel, the Russian market is also attractive. The country is home to Europe’s largest number of Muslims, with 16.4 million followers of Islam recorded in 201...

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