Ever heard of halal chocolates?
Ever heard of halal chocolates? Well I hadn’t until I met Khalid Sharif, CEO of Ummah Foods, at the World Islamic Economic Forum in Astana, Kazakhstan and he gave all of us bars of chocolate like this one that I had him pose for here.
Khalid thought of starting this initiative in his own community in East London because he noticed that there were many Muslims who were greatly concerned about whether the ingredients used in chocolates was halal – the major concern was animal fat.
Initiallly the sales were generated through word of mouth and through personal visits to grocery shops and restaurants but as they came up with more variety they started to develop a distribution network in the UK because of the demand.
Khalid feels that shops like Body Shop and Qibla started off what is termed as “ethical positioning” of products. Ummah Chocolates is just trying to position itself as a Muslim brand. He has now found a market in the UK as well s in the Muslim world.
10% of all profits are given to charities and for community projects in the UK. These are not necessarily just projects in Muslim communities but generally in the communities where money is needed for social development.
Khalid is quick to point out that his products are not positioned “against” anything that exists in the market today but to meet a demand for halal centric products. He also says that it is important to understand that the second and third generation of Muslims in the UK are consumers who expect producers to come up with tasty products, great packaging, high quality and the convenience of being able to get the product at their neighbourhood stores. This is what Ummah Foods is fast delivering on.