How British supermarkets are triumphing during Ramadan

Muslim consumers are being drawn with competitive sale offers and targeted marketing

Nabila Pathan
Nabila Pathan - Special to Al Arabiya English
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With food being the central focus for Muslim consumers at this time of the year, leading British supermarkets have stocked up on dates, chappati flour and halal meats to welcome Ramadan shoppers.

In an attempt to cater to the needs of UK's 3 million Muslim population, Ramadan specific aisles have been erected to offer Ramadan friendly products across many of the Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys supermarket chains, particularly in high density Muslim populated areas.

As "Ramadan Mubarak" banners decorate these shopping aisles, Muslim consumers are being drawn with competitive sale offers and targeted marketing.

Many have taken to Twitter to share their excitement and appreciation at their local supermarkets offering them Ramadan friendly products:

Observing the social media reaction, Shiraz Ahmad, from Unitas Communications, a cross cultural communications agency, told Al Arabiya English that he believes "the trend for supermarkets to mark Ramadan has been widely supported online, especially for highlighting British diversity."

"While there may be an economic basis for the trend of supermarkets embracing this demographic of consumers, the fact that it's been welcomed with less cynicism and with a largely positive social media response, in a climate of growing anti-muslim sentiment, has to be viewed as a positive step for community cohesion.

"After all, it's important to note that supermarkets in continental Europe have been less inclined to publicly embrace marketing Ramadan, even though the Muslim population is larger in some countries like France and Germany."

With the British Muslim consumer market growing yearly, the holy month for Muslims is considered to be the third largest sale period, following Christmas and Easter, by business analysts.

As Ramadan becomes an annual fixture and calendar event for leading supermarkets, meat, rice and fruit have emerged as popular food item purchases during the fasting season, according to retailers.

But Tesco, one the leading British supermarkets in the UK, considered a leader in targeting the Muslim consumer Market has gone the extra mile this month, to donate food to mosques across the UK to help local charities over Ramadan

Matt Clark, World Foods Manager at Tesco, said in a statement: “Ramadan is an important time in the calendar for many of our customers and colleagues. As food plays a hugely significant role...This year, we’re also supporting local communities by donating food products to over 20 Mosques across the UK to help feed those in need.”

Mosques across London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and Leicester have received a large donation of food worth over £20, 000, ranging from chapatti flour, sunflower oil and rice which the Mosques will donate to help feed those in need this Ramadan.

Tesco is expecting Ramadan sales this year to be up to £30million with a 70% average increase in sales on key items such as chapatti flour, rice, oil and dates.

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