WI: A FEW MADISON BUSINESSES PROVIDE AN OUTLET FOR MUSLIMS WHO FOLLOW A HALAL DIET
Among the complications of being a strict Muslim in the United States is finding food that complies with the religion's dietary laws.
But that might change soon, according to a recent Marketing to Muslim study by JWT, a prominent New York trend-spotting agency,
The study found that 44 percent of Muslims surveyed said that most products don't meet their needs. And while they don't want to be subjected to racial profiling, they do want the attention of marketers. The study predicts that halal food, which is lawful according to the Quran, will eventually become part of mainstream American food, like kosher food did so successfully. The Muslim population worldwide is 1.5 billion, with up to 10 million in the United States. The number of Muslims in Wisconsin, according to the 2000 census, was just under 10,000. However, it's believed that since a large number of Muslim refugees from Somalia arrived in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the past decade, the Muslim population in Wisconsin near the Twin Cities has grown considerably.
Mohammed Ehtashamuddin saw the void in the market, and began filling it by gradually transforming his tobacco shop on East Washington Avenue to increase his inventory of halal meats and groceries. "I saw this as a great opportunity because people in Madison had been going to Chicago to buy halal products."