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Move over organic – the new big business in food is halal
Their culinary buzzword is provenance; they know their Jamie from their Nigella; and they have the spare cash to splash on eating out, if they could only find the right restaurants. The catch is that any meat they eat must be halal, on either religious or taste grounds.
Meet the Haloodies, a growing group of food lovers who are bored of curries, fed up with kebabs, and long for nothing more exotic than a shepherd's pie. Their increasing spending power has sparked a race among retailers, wholesalers and canny restaurateurs to carve out a chunk of a market that is worth about £420bn globally.
This week an estimated 20,000 Haloodies will congregate in east London at the Halal Food Festival, the world's first gastronomic celebration of halal produce. All of the UK's major supermarket chains are sending scouts to help them find ways to exploit the trend. Attendees can browse food stalls offering anything from hot dogs and sushi to French and Moroccan dishes without worrying how the meat was killed or even transported.
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