M&S will be the first major food retailer in the UK to launch their own range of halal prepared meals.

Customers will be able to choose from a range of six Halal Food Authority (HFA) certified prepared meals available from 36 M&S stores from today.

The meals on offer include chicken arrabbiata, chicken and mushroom tagliatelle, chicken and leek bake, chicken hotpot, chicken jalfrezi and chicken tikka masala.

Stuart Machin, Managing Director of M&S Food said, “Protecting the magic of M&S Food means leading the way as food innovators, with first to market ranges that respond to growing dietary demands and can deliver real commercial impact.

"M&S Food is changing to become more relevant, more often to families across Britain and our new Halal meal range is a great example of how we are broadening appeal so that more customers can enjoy our delicious, quality food.”

Colleagues across M&S that follow a halal diet have been instrumental in driving the development of the range.

M&S Store Manager at Temple Fortune, Simon Pollitt-Khan said, “Following a Halal diet, there are limited options if I want to grab something quick and easy for dinner. "Whilst some major retailers are starting to stock Halal meat, there are still very few opportunities to eat different flavour foods – like Italian or more traditional British dishes - in a convenient Halal format. Knowing M&S’ heritage for innovation and the growing demand for Halal food, I approached the Food leadership team with an idea and it’s great to see it turned into a commercial reality.”

In May this year, M&S began stocking a range of Shazans branded Halal chicken products in selected stores and has seen a strong sales response from local customers, which has informed its investment in own-label development.

The new M&S Halal prepared meal range has a distinctive orange packaging design and logo and will be stocked alongside the Shazans products.

The new range will also be sold by M&S’ international franchise partner Al-Futtaim in markets including Singapore and Dubai.