Ingredients specialist Forest Tree Foods is extending its range of Haribo-branded halal, kosher and vegetarian confectionery with a raft of new lines.

Launching in mid-April, the products are the results of a joint venture between the company and Haribo, Austria. They are made in Austria using a meat-free gelatine substitute developed by Forest Tree, which has sole distribution rights for the products in the UK.

The 100g bags of gum sweets, including Sour Tongues, Zoo, Sour Delicious, Cola Breeze, Gummi Bears and Wummis (worms), will join the four products already available in 150g or 175g bags. According to Laura Bishop, general manager at Forest Tree, halal and kosher gum sweets is an untapped market because of the technology required to make them. She said that the gelatine substitute took the company 15 years to develop and claimed that other confectionery suppliers were "10 years behind" with similar products. "There are many consumers who want vegetarian and halal sweets but very few gum confectionery products exist and there are no major brands," she said.

Forest Tree was developing halal and kosher jelly beans and marshmallows using similar technology, although not under the Haribo brand, she added.

The sweets are listed in 20 Asda and seven Sainsbury stores around London and the Midlands, with further stores expected to be added this year.