In times of low margins and high competition in the food market, supermarkets depend on every customer. Nevertheless, a well-funded target group has been largely overlooked so far, namely devout Muslims with their desire for “halal” produced food. This is all the more amazing as they are ready to pay more for food made according to their beliefs.
The term “halal” (in Turkish “helal”) comes from the Arabic and means “the permitted” or “the statthafte”. Halal is an action in daily life that is permitted to devout Muslims. Although religious beliefs are not just about food and drink, the public is particularly keen on what is required in this area. For example, believing Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, blood or carrion and to drink something intoxicating (for example alcohol). The Qur’an also makes provisions for the keeping of animals, for raw materials, their processing into food, and their subsequent storage.
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In German supermarkets, religious Muslims have similar problems as German population groups, which depend on detailed information on the food package, for example, because of a food allergy. To make matters worse, halal foods are not only important ingredients but also the way they are produced and stored (for example, separate storage of permitted and prohibited foods). This may be one of the main reasons why, for example, people with a Turkish migration background prefer shopping in Turkish grocery stores. “For 70 percent of the Muslim community, Halal is relevant to their shopping behavior,” explains Engin Ergün, Managing Director of the ethnic-marketing agency Ethno IQ gmbh. And: “90 percent go to the Turkish supermarket once a week in the morning and only then to the German food retailer,” adds Ergün.
How could it be possible to meet the wishes of this population group, whose purchasing power is estimated at 18 to 20 billion euros per year, in German supermarkets? Do we need a new certificate that makes Halal food recognizable at first glance? Hamza Wördemann of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany sees no reason: “Not the halal certification is crucial, but clear and clear labeling of the products” without pork “is for the Turkish customer far more helpful and meaningful.” Others “free -from-claims “(for example” without alcohol “or” without gelatin “) and information on the preparation would be useful.
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Interestingly enough, the market for halal-produced foods is by no means limited to believing Muslims. In the meantime, German customers are also asking for such products, as reported by Sefik Aras, operator of an EDEKA market in Berlin-Reinickendorf. There, the well-known Turkish, Sucuk ‘sausage is now even bought more by German than by Turkish customers.