News / Europe

    French Muslim Shoppers Demand Halal Foods

    Lisa Bryant
    LIVRY GARGAN, France - The Islamic fasting month of Ramadan is underway, and in France it underscores the growing influence of Muslim shoppers. In the Paris suburb of Livry Gargan supermarkets and manufacturers are scrambling to meet the demand for halal products that meet Muslim dietary laws.

    At Cora supermarket in Livry-Gargan, a multi-ethnic, working-class suburb north of Paris, one aisle gets extra attention.  It offers halal products, those sanctioned under Muslim dietary laws.  From milk, spices and candies, to frozen lasagna and hamburger meat, there is plenty of choice.

    Fatima Assani, 39, a mother of two and native of Morocco says she usually makes a special soup for Ramadan.  Her family also serves briks, a North African pastry, and oriental cakes.  She says she usually finds what she needs at Cora.

    Like Assani, many of France's estimated five million Muslims are increasingly choosing halal foods.  Officials estimate the country's halal market is growing about 10 to 15 percent a year. Abbas Bendali, head of the Paris-based Solis market research firm, says Ramadan is the peak month for halal sales, generating about $430 million in business.
     
    Bendali says big suppliers and supermarkets are scrambling to meet this Ramadan demand, offering lots of halal products and promotions during Ramadan.

    For example, a Ramadan leading halal meat brand, Isla Delice, launched a national TV campaign for the first time.  Supermarkets like Cora also have Ramadan halal promotions.

    For Ramadan, 30-year-old business executive Mounira Ben Maamar is interested in buying a traditional French delicacy, foie gras.  However, there is now a halal version.
     
    Mounira Ben Maamar says a decade ago France's Muslim community had few choices when it came to halal products.  Today, she says, manufacturers are waking up to a market worth millions of dollars and they're beginning to develop their brands.

    As he shows Cora's display of halal products, supermarket Director Mathias Michenaud says it reflects the diversity of Muslim shoppers.

    Michenaud says some of his Muslim clientele are big families that cook traditional foods.  But there are also modern couples and single people who want easy-to-prepare foods.  Many were born in France and have adopted French cuisine.

    Michenaud says even Muslims who are not very religious may choose halal over non-halal products if they have the choice.

    Halal foods periodically stir up controversy and suspicion among non-Muslims in France.  Earlier this year, far-right politician Marine le Pen criticized Muslim slaughtering practices.  She claims French shoppers are unknowingly buying halal meat.
     
    Bendali says that controversy put a break on the halal business, but not for long.  Today's debate is about supply.

    Muslim shoppers like Ben Maamar say there is still not enough variety and prices for halal products are too high.  But with the halal market booming in France, exceeding that for organic products in some regions, analysts say she and other Muslim consumers will likely get what they want sooner, rather than later.

    You May Like

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    China Seeks On-Off Switch for Internet

    Public asks whose security is cybersecurity law aiming to protect

    UN Human Rights Chief: Burundi May Explode Into Ethnic Violence

    Burundian government accuses the UN of a campaign of distortion

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dhoni from: Indonesia
    August 06, 2012 9:43 PM
    the comment is said to be reviewed by staff and you choose to show the Islamophobic comment. oh sure, this is VOA.
    In Response

    by: khalil from: Paris
    August 16, 2012 6:42 PM
    Halal Baby Food - Did you know that there Halal Baby Food ? For more information you can see http://baby-food-halal.com/2/index.php?lang=En

    by: Natali from: France
    August 02, 2012 12:03 PM
    you will see... soon the riots bombs murder... suicide bomber... you will see... France must deport all these uglies back to Africa and the Middle east... NO MORE ISLAM IN EUROPE...
    In Response

    by: Dhoni from: Indonesia
    August 06, 2012 9:42 PM
    I'm Indonesian. I'm Muslim. I'm not a slight of african nor middle eastern. Get the hell wake up. Your hatred goes nothing. You think Muslim make bomb as a hobby. Pffft, european surely is Islamophobic

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora