Four months on from the launch of its pioneering Halal baby food, Asian food specialist Mumtaz is already looking to take the product into foreign markets.

The company, which has its headquarters in Great Horton Road, Bradford, announced it was to begin marketing the specialist baby food in January.

It is thought to be the first company in the world to market such a product on a large scale.

The baby food officially hit the shelves in June and was developed in response to a lack of commercially-available baby foods which complied with the Halal diet.

Bosses at Mumtaz were dismayed to read reports that the mental development of Muslim babies was slower than average due to a lack of vital proteins from meat until later in life, as mothers did not wish to risk feeding their babies non-Halal products.

The range is now a fixture on shelves of Tesco, Asda and Morrisons all over the country, as well as hundreds of independent retailers and pharmacies.

Bosses are making new moves to sell the food in Europe and Scandinavia, as well as looking to tap into the ultra-competitive middle-eastern market.

Talks are under way with French giant Carrefour to stock the range in its international chain of stores and an announcement is expected soon. To cope with the increased business, Mumtaz has appointed a new commercial director of the range.

Bill Kimberling will be spearheading the international sales and marketing push for the baby food range.

Mr Kimberling, 52, previously worked with Butchers Pet Care, foot specialist Scholl and the UK baby food manufacturer Cow & Gate.

He said: "As a company Mumtaz genuinely want to offer Muslim mums a choice for their babies that is not covered by the baby food market. The fact that it contains more meat product than its market rivals also offers non-Muslim mums the very best product for their babies but in the convenience of a jar."

The wet baby food market is valued at £95.5m a year in the UK alone with the Muslim food market valued at more than £429m a year.

Mumtaz is also offering an on-line ordering service to busy parents where they can bulk buy the range, with monthly supplies delivered door to door.

Mumtaz director, Rab Nawaz, said: "Bill joins Mumtaz at a very exciting time when the baby food is ready to make its mark globally. We have had so much interest from the Middle East, Scandinavia and European markets and Bill will be spearheading that campaign."

By Mark Casci