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  • Stars, Stripes and Crescents: How the American Muslim consumer wants halal to be mainstream American

    It’s American Independence day today, and we’ve got a special guest post from Samar Taher, one of our colleagues in the New York office… 

    My first stop, Jackson heights, the halal meat store. As I enter, the butcher greets me warmly and asks “The usual?” I nod. Ground beef in one hand, chicken drumsticks in the other, I quickly flag another cab.

    At ‘Fairway Market,’ I have little luck asking the employee for what I need, so I hurriedly search through the entire cheese selection, carefully reading all labels to check for halal certification. Next, I rummage through the freezer for halal hot-dogs from a small ethnic brand and finally grab some kosher condiments as I rush out.

    I check my watch, my apartment is blocks away and I still have to pick up my halal/organic toothpaste. I only ever use one brand as I am not only a loyalist but am also trying to be more healthy and eco-friendly like everyone else. Unfortunately, however, it is only available at limited stores. I ask myself, why didn’t I leave work half an hour earlier?

    Although I thoroughly enjoy hosting the annual “4th of July BBQ” with my roommates, preparing for it is always stressful! Being a Muslim living in Manhattan, I often find myself on a scavenger hunt around the city for quality Halal products to serve my guests.

    Today, there are over 7 million Muslims in America with more then $170 billion in spending power. From a general consumer survey, it was concluded that almost 97% agree that being Muslim affects their daily consumption. Although more and more producers are now starting to take notice of the unique needs of this group, it would be great if American brands not only tailored products to be more shariah-friendly, but also communicated more effectively when their products were halal and ensured that they were readily available.

    Like other consumer groups, it has also been noted that Muslim “Futurists” – those falling between the ages of 15-35, are demanding products, which are not only halal but also healthy, organic, environmentally friendly and from brands that play a supportive role in the community.

    It’s now 9.30pm, I am finally home and about to start preparations for the big party. Although this year’s list is now complete, it would be wonderful if next year, I too could purchase all my groceries in one place! I’d like to celebrate my stars and stripes to the fullest, with the halal-rating that means so much to me.

    You can read more OgilvyNoor insights on the American Muslim consumer here.

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