Halal product sales on the increase in France

PARIS – Ramadan, started this weekend, has
become in recent years an important event in France for the sale of
Halal products in retail, which considers this market as promising, but
still sensitive.

The Halal food, which means “allowed” or “lawful”, has been little
statistical account in France, according to the generally accepted
figure, five million Muslims.

    But according to a recent
study by the agency Solis specializes in “ethnic marketing”, the market
is valued at nearly four billion Euros in 2009 and its annual growth is
estimated at 15%, a boon in these times of crisis.

study also notes that over 93% of the North African population and 55%
of those from sub-Saharan Africa buys Halal products.

many years the supply was limited to Halal meat and charcuterie and a
few groceries available in the traditional market,” says Abbas Bendali,
director of the agency Solis.

    But in the past ten years,
large retailers began offering Halal products “because there is a
market with the arrival of new consumers, the second and third
generations of immigrant origin, whose power Purchasing is often
higher,” he says.

    These consumers have different requests, the offer was therefore developed.

Soups, ravioli, pizza, hacis parmentier: major national brands (Maggi,
Herta, Fleury Michon, Panzani, for example) were launched at the market
with dishes. The volaillers as Duke have also invested the sector;
Muslims households eat a lot more meat than the national average.

    The chain Casino has launched in early August its own products under the brand Wassila.

“With a potential of 10 to 20% of Muslim customers in our stores” Halal
products represent a growth market, admits Stéphane Renaud, buyer
“Products of the World” at Auchan.

    Ramadan is a period of
“very heavy expenditure” and for the occasion, the channel does not
hesitate to multiply by ten or fifteen, the stores dedicated to Halal
food. Sales of ‘feuilles de brick’ (filo pasrty) are multiplied a
thousand, cites the example of Mr. Renaud.

“dream to conquer the Muslim customers,” but “they are not ready to
assume their choice” regrets for his part Kimouche Fateh, founder of
Al-Kanz.org for Muslim consumers.

    Most of the spotlights,
he said prefer to focus on “Flavors of the East” or “Spice Route”
rather than explicitly mention Ramadan.

    “In a context of
limited knowledge of Islam and Muslims, Halal can be scary and large
retailers can keep the same irrational reflexes as part of the public”,
said for his part Jean-Christophe Despres, Director Sopi of
Communication, specializing in “multicultural” communication.

    “We want money from Arabs, but not their image. However, it should be noted that some are beginning to assume,” he notes.

   Retailers do not know this market and do not know who to deal with it”, said for his part Mr. Bendali.