The Australian supermarket chain Woolworths will be selling its own brand of halal products labelled Al-Sadiq by the middle of this year.

Al-Sadiq, meaning truthful branded products will be stocked in more than 20 Woolworths stores especially in the suburbs of Western Sydney with large Muslim populations.

The Woolworths in-house brand has been created and certified with consultation from the Islamic Council of Queensland in order for the supermarket chain to gain the confidence and trust of Muslim shoppers that rely on the credentials of halal food.

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Al-Sadiq private label would first cover chicken products but could be extended to include other fresh and packaged grocery items if there was support from local communities.

This initiative is part of a wider strategy to grow its range of ethnic and international groceries that are in demand from an increasingly diverse multicultural community in Australia.

Woolworths Director of Buying Mr Peter McNamara said the company made the move because of the increasing diversity of its customers.

‘We have identified over a period of time that the opportunity to better serve what is an increasingly diverse clientele across particularly Sydney and Melbourne, and other parts of Australia as well, ” Mr McNamara said.

He said that because halal food is religiously sensitive, the company wanted their own in-house brand to make sure they get it right.

Mr McNamara said the evolution of the Woolworths private label halal brand began when the chain wanted to be able to provide to its shoppers a consistent and quality offer.

“When our fresh poultry team went looking to source product we found it difficult to find the quality and consistency and certification confidence for that style of product,” Mr McNamara further added.

Woolworths stores have been selling halal products from other suppliers in many of their stores with special sections in stores with large Muslim populations for a number of years.

It is the first step in a major strategic push by Woolworths to better curate the brands its 1000-plus stores nationwide carry, as changing demographics and growing multicultural populations look for ethnic foods and brands they enjoyed in their homelands such as China, Malaysia, India, South Africa and the Middle East.

Woolworths have developed a road map of growth in line with Australian diverse population growth to match food products that includes areas like halal, kosher, Indian, Middle Eastern, Chinese and African food products.