From supermarkets to sit down restaurants, halal food sales are having a great year, up 30% from 2010 with a projected sales at $20 billion. Sales are surging not just among the Muslim American community but also among foodie millennials who are responding to the quality of the cuisine. Halal is food prepared according to Islamic law.
Shahed Amanullah hosts a website which tracks halal restaurants in the U.S. and says that back in 1998, there were only 200 places serving halal food but today, there are as many as 7,600. “Food is a great medium for cultural sharing,” comments Mr. Amanullah.
For the past five years, Whole Foods Market Inc. has been running Ramadan promotions and currently lists Halal among one of its fastest growing categories. Adnan Durrani, chief executive officer of American Halal Co., says that as many as 80% of consumers who buy his Saffron Road brand of frozen meals (available at Whole Foods) aren’t necessarily trying to follow Islamic law — they’re seeking a better tasting meal.
And of course, one of the biggest successes is Halal Guys which started as a street cart in Manhattan and have proven so popular that the company is now planning to launch 300 fast-casual restaurants across the country in the next couple of years.