France’s wealthy young Muslims fuel boom in halal food

An affluent middle class of young Muslims is driving a boom in sales of halal products, including alcohol-free sparkling wine and Islam-approved foie gras in France.

The new consumers, known as the beurgeois – a combination of bourgeois and beur, slang for a French person of North African descent – have spending power worth an estimated 5.5bn euros a year.

But they don’t want the foods that their parents grew up with, instead they want high end halal luxuries and a range of halal cuisines, the Guardian reports.

In response to the growing demand for halal products, which is increasing by 15 per cent a year, supermarket group Caisno has started stocking an increasing variety of halal meats.

The fast-food chain Quick has a number of halal-only burger bars and Muslim corner shops selling exclusively halal foods and drinks are also flourishing.

Yanis Bouarbi, 33, an IT specialist who started the website, which lists restaurants in France serving halal food, said wealthy young Muslims were behind the new trend.

“When our parents and grandparents came to France they did mostly manual work and the priority was having enough to feed the family,” he told the Guardian.

“But second or third-generation people like me have studied, have good jobs and money and want to go out and profit from French culture without compromising our religious beliefs. We don’t just want cheap kebabs, we want Japanese, Thai, French food; we want to be like the rest of you.”

Mr Bouarbi said that the halal boom was taking place because young Muslims had more money. His website now lists more than 400 restaurants in Paris and its suburbs, and he plans to expand it to other French cities.