Why the world’s biggest halal baby food brand is British: for aisha

Mark Salter launched the UK’s first halal baby food company, recognising “the power of the Muslim pound.”

Baby food brand for aisha broke into the market just a year ago. for aisha is now available in over 2000 multiple retail stores in the UK, including Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons and Boots. Here’s how founder Mark Salter grew his halal baby food business into a global phenomenon.

But what makes for aisha successful may be more than catering to a growing market of Muslim parents. Salter’s brand sources ethical ingredients and focuses on keeping sugar content down, making the baby food brand one of the healthiest in the market.

One year on, the company is turning over £80,000 per month and is on target to reach £1 million turnover by April 2017, catalysed by its popularity in fast-growth export markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

Considering that the global halal market is set to hit $1.6 trillion by 2018, Salter may have caught on to the next wave in healthy baby food.

 

Halal food tax proposed in France to fund mosques

Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), outlined plans for a new foundation that would help reduce foreign benefactors amid concerns over extremism.

The idea has been supported by politicians on both the right and left, although there are doubts where such a tax could be implemented.

“The idea has existed since the CFCM was founded,” Kbibech said.

“We have reached the first step with the signing with of a religious framework in the CFCM’s halal charter, which defines the criteria of halal in France.

“In autumn we will discuss the second part, which is the financial contribution of halal organisations to worship.”

The money raised would go towards paying imams’ salaries and funding the construction and operation of mosques, which cannot receive state support under French law.

The proposal came after Manuel Valls called for a ban on foreign funding for Muslim places of worship amid concerns over extremism following a string of terror attacks.

“There needs to be a thorough review to form a new relationship with French Islam,” he said.

“We live in a changed era and we must change our behaviour. This is a revolution in our security culture…the fight against radicalisation will be the task of a generation.”

Nathalie Goulet, a French senator for Orne who conducted a report on the issue, said the creation of a central and transparent foundation was a priority but cast doubt on a halal tax.

“Legally, it is not possible to reduce a tax on a religious item,” she said.

“And technically, a ‘halal tax’ would be impossible to implement because there is no unity around the concept of halal.

“What would be possible is that representatives of the religion themselves introduce a private fee for service at the time of slaughter, to be set by the community, collected and sent to the foundation.”

There has been continued controversy over the sale of halal food in France, with a supermarket in Colombes ordered to sell pork and alcohol or face closure this week.

Halal Food in Germany

June 25, 2014

According to the Central Council of Muslims in Germany the German food industry should make halal food more accessible. Particularly with regard to the month of Ramadan Hamza Wördemann, board member of the Central Council of Muslims, suggested a uniform labeling of Islam-compliant products.

The Halal Guys: Cashing In on Street Cred

June 13, 2014

One recent evening, Mr. Hegazy, 54, wearing a traditional kufi, sat with a coffee at one of his regular tables, with two Halal Guys carts within sight across the way. He will sometimes sit there late into the night. “To watch the guys,” he said, gesturing to the scene.

To proudly illustrate a story about the Halal Guys being the first halal cart to secure a trademark, he made a fast phone call in Arabic; moments later, a boyish-looking young man appeared at the table with a takeout bag bearing the logo as proof.

Before Mr. Hegazy arrives in the evenings, cart workers have been known to set out cones to secure him a parking spot on Sixth Avenue. The Halal Guys know how to work the street.

But things are about to change for the Guys. More than a decade after three Egyptian men switched from selling hot dogs from their Midtown cart to serving halal food to Muslim cabdrivers, the Halal Guys are about to become a fast-food chain. The company — founded by Mohamed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed — signed a deal with Fransmart, the restaurant franchise consulting firm that took Five Guys Burgers and Fries from four locations in Northern Virginia and helped turn it into a chain with more than 1,200 stores and more than $1 billion in sales last year. Qdoba, a Mexican food chain, is Fransmart’s other success story.

Within a year Fransmart hopes to open Halal Guys outlets in Los Angeles, along the East Coast, across Canada and in the Middle East. The five-year plan is for 100 locations, as well as a presence in Europe.

An early glimpse at what a Halal Guys franchise might look like will come next month when the first shop opens on 14th Street, just off Second Avenue. A second location is planned to open near Columbia University’s campus in the fall.

Zach Brooks, the founder of Midtownlunch.com, a popular blog that has chronicled the city’s street-food scene since 2006, has followed the Halal Guys for years. “Those carts probably pull in a couple hundred grand a year,” he said. “But I don’t want to sound like an idiot. They could be making a million bucks.”
As to why the brand has become so strong, appearing on the to-do lists of tourists and standing above countless imitators, that, too, is something of a mystery. Maybe, Mr. Brooks suggested, the Halal Guys used better meat? Maybe it was the white sauce that is slathered over everything? Maybe it’s because people can’t remember a time when they weren’t there?

Halal food for Brussels Transport canteens

06.03.2012

Le Soir

After a union led debate upon the introduction of halal food, the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company’s (STIB) Diversity Committee has accelerated the process after gelatine which contains pork was found in three salads offered at STIB’s canteens. Many of the STIB employees are of Muslim faith and those who support the motion to diversify the food offered by STIB canteens do so by arguing for change in face of shifting demographic structures amongst STIB employees.

Oklahoma Bans Shari’ah Law

By: Haroon Moghul

It’s called Measure 755. For Oklahoma, it forbids the use of international and Shari’ah law in state courts. As of the time of writing, it has passed, winning nearly 70% of the vote. As an American Muslim, and a citizen of New York, I am amused, concerned, fascinated and, oddly, given hope. Let me go in that order.

What most Americans don’t realize is that we already have interpretations of Shari’ah law in our country; or, at least, interpretations of the personal, moral, and ethical components of the law, operating off of individual choice and will. When Muslims pray, they are following interpretations of Shari’ah. Fasting in Ramadan. Giving in charity. Even a smile, the Prophet Muhammad said, is charity.

I am amused that Oklahomans would consider this threat enough to pass a law, to head off (and I can’t believe this is the case) the looming Islamization of the West. Apparently, it will begin in the center of the country. About all this guarantees is that the booming Halal food market may be a no-go area, and the rapid growth of Islamic finance as a global industry will just have to pass Oklahoma by.

Germany waking up to growing market for Muslim food

Germany has four million Muslim inhabitants but the market for halal food — produced according to Islamic law — is still in its infancy, partly because firms fear the wrath of animal rights groups. But companies are slowly waking up to this fast-growing market.

The potential market for halal food in Germany is huge. An estimated four million Muslims live in Germany, and the community is pre-programmed to grow because Muslims have a higher birth rate than non-Muslims. Halal already accounts for 17 percent of the global food market, according to the World Halal Forum based in Malaysia.

“German companies are too cautious,” says Levent Akgül of ethnic marketing agency Akkar Media in Hanover. “They don’t know the different culture and they can’t calculate the risks.”

In addition, German food retailers are worried that putting halal food products on grocery store shelves will deter non-Muslim customers, says Akgül. Advertising for halal products in Germany is still taboo for many German companies, he says.

Halal food on US University campuses

Islam Online examines the availability of halal, or Islamically permissible foods on various US university and college campuses. At Stanford University, halal food is widely available on several places of the campus – though it is not already made, but must be done so on-demand. At Harvard University, already-made halal meals on campus have been stimulated by support from wealthy Arab countries. However, such availability is not always the case on other campuses with growing a growing Muslim student body. A Yale student reflects on the dining halls of the university’s New Haven, Connecticut campus. “I didn’t find any halal grocery or meat store on the campus. I had no car and we were frustrated,” reported Imtiaz Ali. Georgia Tech students reported sticking to vegetarian meals, without a halal option at school.

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