Savvy segments: retailers and brands target ethnic markets
LONDON - A growing number of mainstream clothing, fast-food and confectionery brands are developing products for ethic groups.
Asda's latest range from George
On Monday, Asda launched a 13-piece Asian clothing range, under its George fashion label, that includes sequinned salwaar kameez suits and dapata scarves.
The launch is pegged to Islamic holiday Eid, which takes place later this month.
Fiona Lambert, brand director at George, said: 'This is the UK's first mainstream range of traditional Asian clothing. We have the broadest socio-demographic group of all the supermarkets and we wanted to offer affordable clothing suitable for all our customers.'
She added that sales of Asda's ethnic food ranges have seen a 46% year-on-year increase during Ramadan and so the retailer was expecting strong demand in the build-up to Eid and the Hindu Diwali celebrations.
Chocolate company Thorntons, meanwhile, is launching a box of non-alcoholic sweets designed to help celebrate the same festivals. The Thorntons Classics collection comes in a black box with a gold pattern, created by the celebrity henna tattoo artist Ash Kumar.
Thorntons brand manager Emma Dickinson said: 'Eid and Diwali are growing celebrations in the UK and confectionery gifting is a huge part of these festivals.'
FMCG giant Mars is also trying to broaden its appeal among different ethnic groups. In June, it announced that all chocolates manufactured at its Slough Mars factory are now certified kosher.
The company partnered with a kosher certification board, the Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din, on the project. Products to gain certification include Mars bars, Snickers, Galaxy and three Tracker bar variants.
Fiona Dawson, managing director of Mars Chocolate, said: 'We want our products to be enjoyed by as many consumers as possible.'
Supermarket Tesco sells around 300 Polish products, from canned fish and carrot juice, as the supermarket claims there is a huge demand for Polish delicacies in Britain.
It added that Polish cuisine has become its fastest-growing ethnic food range ever launched, including our Indian and Chinese ranges.
Tesco's Polish range was launched in just 10 stores in September 2006 and has since been extended to more than 500 stores.
In May, fast-food retailer KFC launched a halal-only menu in eight of its London stores. The concept will roll out further if popular. The stores sell only chicken products that have been approved by the Halal Food Authority and that adhere to Islamic dietary rules.
KFC said the move was intended to ensure the company was catering to a broader range of customers, following a growing demand for halal products, especially in areas with large Muslim populations.
Masood Khawaja, president of the Halal Food Authority, welcomed the trial and said: 'The Muslim community can now enjoy all the products in these restaurants.'
KFC is not the first fast-food chain to introduce a halal menu. Earlier this year, pizza-delivery firm Domino's introduced a halal-only outlet in Birmingham, which does not serve products containing ham or bacon.
Limiting the menu to draw in new customers could alienate existing users; however, Domino's said it had 'thought long and hard' about the decision not to offer pork products. A spokeswoman said: 'We appreciate we cannot please everybody, but there are alternatives, such as turkey ham, and we are sure this decision is the right one.'
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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