Businesses Cater to Muslim Niche Market in Europe

August 13, 2005

Source: The Miami Herald / Financial Times

On August 13, 2005 the Financial Times reported, "Politicians are reaching out to Muslim communities seeking to secure their integration rather than their isolation from mainstream society, but a growing number of businesses across Europe have long been doing the same. Among the well-known brands to have recently acknowledged the rising importance of Muslim consumers is Nokia, which has introduced the Ilkon i800, a mobile phone that directs users towards Mecca and tells them when to pray. Heineken, the Dutch brewing giant, meanwhile, has decided to roll out the nonalcoholic malt drink Fayrouz internationally. In the UK, Lloyds TSB is the latest high street bank to introduce Islamic banking services, while GlaxoSmithKline has secured halal endorsement from the Muslim Law Council for its Ribena and Lucozade drinks... Over the past few years, Muslim entrepreneurs have launched other niche brands including Mecca Cola and Qibla Cola. Muslim media in Europe has been expanded to include television, newspapers, lifestyle magazines and consumer websites. Indeed, regardless of the sociopolitical climate and concern about disengagement from wider society, mainstream brand owners have been waking up to Muslim consumers' needs because of the growth in the number of Muslims living in Europe. The Muslim population of European Union countries exceeds 15m, according to current estimates that suggest this figure will double by 2015."