New Packaging for KQF Polonies

KQF Polonies
KQF Polonies

Customers might like to know that we have now launched the new-look packaging for our popular range of KQF Halal Polonies.

The new packs bring the products into line with the company’s updated branding and logo, which came into effect last year, and the colour coding makes it very easy to distinguish the different variants at a glance. The red wrapper indicates beef (Masala Polony), the blue indicates lamb and the yellow denotes chicken.

Please note that although the packaging has changed, the recipes, sizes and halal credentials have not, so customers will still be able to count on them to deliver the same quality, integrity and taste.

The KQF Polony range includes:

•    Chicken Polony
•    Masala (beef) Polony
•    Lamb Polony

Guest blog by Jerome de Ferrieres, AsiaFoodCo.

In this guest post, our French distributor and European retail expert Jerome de Ferrieres explains how the halal market has developed in France and why he believes that KQF products are well suited to some of its most promising niche markets.

A Taste for the Exotic: France’s Changing Halal Market

Firstly, thanks to KQF for giving me an opportunity to talk about the halal market in France, which is very important to the work of AsiaFoodCo.

There are some significant differences between the halal markets in Britain and France. I think it’s fair to say that the French market is a lot more mature, it has a very different composition and it’s certainly larger – roughly twice the size of the British market.

Between 5 and 6 million inhabitants originate from the Maghreb – the countries of Northwest Africa – whereas only a relatively small proportion of the Muslim population comes from India, Pakistan and Bengal. There are perhaps half a million people of Turkish descent living and France and the demographic mix also features more than a million people from West Africa – Gabon, Togo, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. As a rough estimate, around a third to a half of these African consumers will be Muslim.

Muslim populations tend to be quite concentrated, particularly around Paris, which could account for about half of the national halal market. The capital and its suburbs are therefore very important to retailers serving Muslim consumers.

Each ethnic group has its own characteristics and preferences and this applies particularly to the issue of halal certification. Some groups are not particularly fastidious and will simply avoid pork. Others will seek halal labelled foods but will not be greatly concerned about their certification. Others however – particularly certain communities in and around Paris – consider halal certification to be very important and will opt for foods that bear the stamp of their preferred monitoring body.

In France, the two leading bodies are AVS and Mosquée de Lyon. AVS tends to be regarded as the most stringent and is comparable in many respects to Britain’s HMC. The HMC itself is relatively unknown amongst ordinary shoppers in France but retailers specialising in the Muslim market are usually well informed about its work and therefore happy to stock HMC-certified foods, including those produced by KQF.

When it comes to judgements about the reliability of halal credentials, many French consumers tend to trust their chosen brand of supermarket/hypermarket. These shops will generally have a frozen foods aisle with a clearly marked ‘halal’ section so if a retailer is prepared to stock a certified food, its customers often tend to accept it.

KQF’s halal certification has therefore been very important for convincing retailers to stock its products and for proving that those products will stand up to the most rigorous scrutiny.  Now that they are in stock in many parts of Paris and elsewhere, the next consideration is how well the market responds.

We are still at a relatively early stage of market testing but the early responses have been good. In June, we agreed a deal with Le Clerc FRANCE, which has over 500 stores, and this followed agreements with other retailers including Alphaprim and distFresh.

In France, KQF foods are branded as Khan Exotique and I think they are successful because they appeal to particular niches. Burgers are common in France but they tend to be cheap and the meat content is low. KQF is not offering ‘just another burger’ but is, instead, offering authentic and exotic flavours from India and other parts of the world.

This illustrates how the halal market in France has changed, particularly over the last ten years. For a long time, shoppers had no difficulty in finding staple halal foods but their choice was very limited, especially when it came to products with more exotic flavours.

More recently, well known food brands have begun to introduce their own halal products so the market has started to develop a taste for variety and convenience. In addition, many Muslim consumers are anxious to buy products with reliable halal credentials, but there is a very limited number of products that combine all three qualities: exotic flavours, convenience and trusted certification. Fortunately, these are all areas in which KQF is very strong and this is what first attracted me to the Khan Exotique range.

Looking ahead, I think there is great scope for us to work with KQF to introduce more halal certified ‘flavours of the world’ to French Muslim consumers. The larger product sizes, the emphasis on quality and the reliable certification are all important selling points and as the range grows to include flavours from Mexico, Thailand, North Africa and elsewhere, I expect the brand to become increasingly popular.

KQF Named Business of the Year In English Asian Business Awards

KQF has been named Business of the Year in the 2014 English Asian Business Awards.

1editPresented by Lloyds Banking Group, the Awards were held on the 29th September at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel and were attended by hundreds of delegates from all over Britain. There were six other finalists in the Business of the Year category including, amongst others, professional services specialists, high-tech manufacturers and food and drinks companies from London and the West Midlands.

“This is a very prestigious award for KQF and to be up there with some really big names is a great achievement,” said managing director Faruk Vali. “I would like to express my appreciation to our whole 62-strong workforce for their contributions to making this award possible. We have come a long way in the last twelve months and much of it has been down to sheer hard work from the whole team. ”

The title of Business of the Year was awarded to the company which the judges believed most deserved to be recognised for its progress over the last year. In making their decision, the panel took into account KQF’s dramatic growth in sales, and our innovation with regard to new product development, branding, quality control and the expansion of our export markets.

Over the last year, we have almost doubled our turnover, won new clients in Britain and Europe and created a total of 12 new jobs.

We were recently commended as a finalist in the E3 Business Awards and, on 16th October, we will be appearing at the EN 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards as a finalist in the category of Most Entrepreneurial Company. In November, representatives of the KQF Superstore will attend the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards – for which KQF has been shortlisted in two categories: the Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year and the Innovation of the Year.