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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid