Noreen Lanigan, Manager, Bord Bia Paris
With Ramadan now into its third week there has been much debate this month in France about the growth of halal food consumption. According to Iremam (the French Institute of Research on Arab and Muslim civilisations) there are over 5 million Muslims in France and the halal market is four times more valuable than the market for organic food. Etude Solis, a market research firm specialised in ethnic marketing, are more modest in their estimations stating that it is at least twice the size of the organic market and are forecasting that by the end of 2010 it will be worth €4.5 billion, of which €1 billion will be spent in foodservice.
This figure has grown twentyfold in the last five years and during this time leading French brands like Fleury Michon, Herta, Liebig and Maggi have launched halal ranges. The major multiples have also followed suit, Casino’s private label halal range retails under the Wassila house brand and Carrefour’s range is sold under the Sabrina house brand in selected stores.
A Quick outlet in the centre of Roubaix, Northern France, one of eight
outlets partaking in the halal trial since November 2009.
Quick, McDonald’s key competitor in France, announced this week that their sales in the eight outlets running a halal trial (all meat served in these outlets is halal and there is no bacon on the menu) since November 2009 have doubled to date. Quick plan to roll-out this trail to a further 14 outlets, bringing the percentage of 100% halal outlets to 6% of the Quick chain in France.
However, the promotion of halal products can be controversial in a lay country like France. Carrefour revealed to us this week that they will reinforce their lamb procurement policy in the future, which demands a guarantee from suppliers that conventional lamb supplied to the chain is stunned before slaughter and was not part of a ritual slaughtering batch. This reflects an underlying resistance by traditional consumers to the growth of the halal category.