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U.S. Companies Court Muslim Market, Halal Product Offerings Are Expanding

December 27, 2010: 10:58 AM EST

If the large turnout at the recent American Muslim Consumer Conference in New York is any indication, U.S. businesses are stepping up efforts to cater to the Muslim community. The trend is already noticeable in the food industry, with such companies as McDonald's, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods now selling halal lines prepared in accordance with Islamic dietary laws. American producers are following the lead of Europe, which has established itself in the burgeoning halal industry, which posts yearly international sales of over half a billion dollars. But, like their European counterparts, American manufacturers can expect resistance from Christian populations in the current political climate. Errol Schweizer, an executive with Whole Foods, nevertheless predicts continuing penetration by American business into the Muslim market: "It isn't a question of whether they're going to do it. It's a question of where and when and how."

RACHEL ZOLL, "US Muslims: a new consumer niche", Associated Press, December 27, 2010, © The Associated Press
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