Whole Foods has become the first prominent supermarket chain to run a Ramadan marketing campaign--and they're hoping Muslim customers will return the favor as they break fast.
Even though Muslims traditionally forego meals during the day, lavish evening Ramadan meals could mean big bucks for the natural foods giant ... as well as brand loyalty from a demographic not traditionally courted by megastore advertising.
Whole Foods is teaming up with Halal frozen entree brand Saffron Road (who sell a variety of Indian-, Thai-, and Moroccan-flavored dinners) to host several promoted blog items on Whole Foods' website along with sponsored giveaways of Saffron Road food and supermarket gift certificates.
Additional content for the campaign is being added by Yvonne Maffei of the My Halal Kitchen blog. While it is a relatively small promotion, it also marks a new benchmark for the Muslim-American community: the first coordinated Ramadan promotion by a national supermarket chain.
No in-store promotions for the campaign are planned, instead, in an apparent attempt to test the waters, the promotion will start online. The "campaign focuses on reaching Muslim consumers online where they are already having conversations about halal foods, grocery shopping, and preparing for Ramadan,” Saffron Road spokesperson Lisa Mabe tells Fast Company. Saffron Road maintains a heavy social media presence and an ongoing charitable relationship with Whole Foods' Whole Planet foundation, and hopes the promotion will further strengthen their brand awareness.
There are approximately 1.8 million Muslims living in the United States. Of these, Arab Muslims are a distinct minority; the bulk of the population consists of African-American converts to Islam and South Asian (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan) Muslims. And 45% of Muslim immigrants report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher--placing them squarely in Whole Foods' demographic. (More)