France: Halal product consumers increase 15 percent annually

By Talal Al-Kendiri

PARIS, April 1 (KUNA) — The number of Halal products consumers in France has been rising by 15 percent every year, amounting to nearly seven million people.

The market of Halal products (permissible by Islam) has gained a great momentum because of the big presence of Muslims in France. Many big restaurants serve Halal meals in some of their branches such as “Quick” the largest restaurants chain of fast food in Europe.

In addition, there are many supermarkets all over France that offer Halal food products on their shelves.

A French economic consultants’ office said in a study published in December, 2010 that the Halal market in France has witnessed a noticeable development of which its financial returns amounted to 5.5 billion euro in 2010, pointing out that 4.5 billion were spent on food products and about one billion on restaurants.

The study further clarified that the Halal market targeted 17 million Muslims in Europe, and seven million Muslims in France alone.

The Halal market is not only strict to food products but also extends to cosmetics as well which many cosmetic companies offer alcohol and lard free products.

On March 29-30, 2011, the 8th Edition of the Paris Halal International Expo was held in Porte De Versailles, in the French Capital of Paris, under the title of ” Halal Expo”.

The Expo’s Director Antoine Bonnel told KUNA that the exhibition aimed at explaining Halal products in the French and European market.

It also targeted those who are interested in the distributions of Halal products and services in Europe, he added.

Bonnel also said that, during the expo, a great amount of healthy food products and non-food products, which respected the cultural and Islamic needs, were showcased.

He pointed out that the Halal market has prospered in the past 15 years by introducing new Halal products every year in to most common stores in France. The Halal market is one of the toughest markets availabe in Europe and it is hard for industrial companies to understand its specific requirements and regulations, therefore, there was a need to organize the Halal Expo to get familiarized with the qualifications of Hala products according to the rules set by religion authorities in France, Bonnel explained.

Bonnel further said that the 8th Edition of the Hala Expo was able to gather all Muslims in the European continent in one place where it witnessed an increase of visitors by 38 percent, comparing to 20 percent of 2010.

This year the Expo witnessed the participation of companies from UAE, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Thailand and India as well as French companies.