Christina/ July 14, 2010/ Culture

For decades efficient Turks have shown us how to do it – the „good“ business with national dishes: the legendary “Döner Kebab”.

Whereas the money-focused American had reached mastership by now the German tries to achieve his certificate of apprenticeship: The production and sales of „halal food”.

Halal (in Turkish helal) is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. According to a definition of INFANCA the term is only used in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, and food contact materials.

The opposite of „halal“(permitted) is „haram“ (prohibited). Haram thereby describes food and the like, which are prohibited according to Islamic rules. A typical example for that would be porc meat or alcohol.

Food which ingredients are questionable are called „mashbooh“. Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin are mashbooh, because the origin of these ingredients is not known. Gelatin, essential part of the colourful „bears“ which were advertised for by some well-known blond-haired moderator for so long. Then, the producer, who already sold his popular nibbles so effectively in Turkey (using gelatin made from beef instead of porc) came across „Ethno-Marketing” and thus the “Turks right in his backyard”(we are talking about 2,6 Mio. people here). Also other producers “jumped on the bandwagon“, maybe even earlier than the Germans. Producers from the Netherlands, such as „Mekkafood“ have been successful in this field for years.

What’s remarkable though is the fact that companies such as Maggi & Co. have been selling their products (especially bouillon cubes) for years in Turkey and the Arabic World. This leads us to the question: “Why did it take German producers so long to discover this group as a target group in Germany?” Did they expect the fast integration, even when it comes to eating habits? Well, let’s be honest to ourself. Isn’t it that “German Bakeries” all over the world are very popular with expats? So, why shouldn’t the same phenomena appeal to Muslims in Germany?

Finally one discovered: The controversial discussion about what Islam stands for and what it does not stand for is worth a lot of money and circulation. Or is there anybody out there who still believes that newspapers and magazines really do care about women’s rights in the Arabic World? Business people care about money and profit. Interestingly enough the so called „ethnic economy“ has been doing that for years: flushing money into the German public purse.

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