In everyday life, the lettering “Halal-Certified” is most likely to be found in the Turkish snack bar in the big city. It could soon appear more often in our German supermarkets, because the demand is increasing – for various reasons.
The name has been emblazoned on the Krefeld ice hockey stadium since the beginning of the year in white letters on a red background: Yayla Arena. Yayla is a manufacturer of meat products that are made according to Islamic guidelines and they are “halal”. The company wants to become more visible with the acquisition of the name rights. “We are internationally known among people of Turkish origin, but the Germans around the corner didn’t know us,” explains Yayla spokeswoman Buket Ünal. “We wanted to change that.”
Around 20 years ago, Yayla launched the Turkish garlic sausage Sucuk on the German market and a good ten years ago Halal Wiener. The manufacturer’s goal: In the future, the halal sausage should also be a matter of course in the German supermarket. It is not a small market and Cologne-based meat producer Egetürk, which claims to be the market leader for halal meat products in Germany, generated around 130,5 million Euros revenues in 2017.
In the ranking of the “Allgemeine Fleischer Zeitung” of the top companies in the German meat and meat products industry, the company came 65th – a leap forward from 15 places within one year.
German manufacturers get on
German manufacturers have also discovered the market. Germany’s largest meat producer Tönnies now offers products with halal certification as well as the poultry breeder and processor Wiesenhof. “With Halal certification, we – like many other food manufacturers – are responding to this demand,” explains Wiesenhof on his website.
However, Halal products are far from being ubiquitous in Germany. Aldi, Rewe, Lidl, Penny and Edeka offer them at individual locations. Aldi Süd, for example, tested Sucuk, the Turkish-style garlic sausage, in selected regional companies at the beginning of October. The sausage was produced in a halal-compliant manner and labeled accordingly. The supermarket chains Tegut and Globus, on the other hand, stated on request that they did not offer any Halal products in the range.
No halal is the same
The breakthrough is probably also made difficult by the fact that the exact definition of halal is controversial. Halal actually means “allowed” – pork is forbidden, beef and poultry are allowed, explains the theologian Asmaa El Maaroufi. But moreover applies: “There is no halal slaughter, but differences of opinion and heterogeneous views among Muslims,” reports El Marroufi.
The economist and editor-in-chief of the specialist magazine “Halal-World”, Kemal Calik, is nevertheless convinced: “Those who do not go to the Halal market will perish.” Halal is good business, as can be seen from the many new companies that specialize in halal food and the Halal trade fair, which is to take place in Hanover for the first time next year.
Yayla is also feeling the growing interest in Halal products. The company originated in the 1960s from the idea of satisfying the Turkish guest workers’ longing for the taste of their homeland. The products were sold in Turkish supermarkets. At first it was difficult to gain a foothold in classic German shops but meanwhile the interest of the dealers is growing noticeably, reported company spokeswoman Ünal.
In addition, the worlds of taste have long been mutually beneficial, she says. One of Yayla’s most successful products is actually not a product of Turkish origin, but a German meat sausage that has been refined with Turkish spices. Or as Ünal calls it: “A meat sausage with a Turkish background.”