While Muslim-Jewish relations are at a low in many places of the world, the two cultures are working in concert… in the frozen food aisle of your local Whole Foods.
The New York Times reports on the rising success of a prepared halal foods company, and the cues it has taken from the success of kosher food in appealing to non-Jews and the non-kosher observant.
Saffron Road produces halal frozen entrees, first landing on store shelves in 2010. This year, they’re on pace to make $35 million in sales.
The company was started by Adnan Durrani, a “Wall Street refugee” born to Pakistani parents (a diplomat and a World Bank executive). He says he thinks often about the famous advertising campaign for Hebrew National kosher hot dogs with the tagline, “We answer to a higher authority.”
Decades ahead of the current kosher food climate, where producers are targeting non-kosher observant consumers even more than the kosher observant shoppers who are already buying their product, this campaign captured the appeal of kosher food for the non-kosher as a higher quality product.
Durrani hopes to tap into this same appeal for his frozen entrees. The brand got its first big break by convincing Whole Foods that Muslims were an untapped market for the chain; but now, the products are aimed at a wider audience, with gluten-free and GMO-free offerings, and availability at chains like Kroger and Publix.