Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Islam, has become a veritable
business in France, the western country which hosts the largest number
of Muslims, some 5 million, and where the consumption of halal food
increases by 15% annually. Not only that, now Ramadan is a part and
parcel of the Republican calendar and of the politicians’ agenda:
Iftar, the meal which at sunset breaks the fast, has become a local
consecrated ritual for cities like Lille, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg,
Roubaix. […] The USA also understood that and on September 15 they
will organize an Iftar at their Paris embassy.
On the marketing and business level the supermarkets such as Casino
and Leclerc opened at the end of August a ‘Ramadan’ section where you
can find all the products consumed during the Muslim holy month and
that up till last year were sold under the label of ‘Oriental tastes’.
But in actual fact, the best strategy to attract clients, who in the
month of fasting, despite the fact that it is a period of abstinence,
spend much more than usual for Iftar, the family and very often
neighbourhood holiday, has not yet been devised. Somebody had the idea
to advertise the energy drink X35 as a remedy to avoid pupils falling
asleep in class.