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Halal McNuggets a Hit in Detroit

Sales are so good, McDonald’s expands the idea other restaurants


McDonald's Offers Halal Food

McDonald's expands its offering of halal food

Tim Boyle / Getty Images
In September 2000, a McDonald’s restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan began offering a halal version of its chicken nuggets, in response to requests from area customers. Over the following year, sales of the unique item were so good that they expanded the idea to a second Dearborn location.

At the Michigan Avenue restaurant (14860 Michigan Avenue), McNugget sales are usually about double the restaurant chain's average, and 65 percent of the orders are for the halal version. The halal product has been so successful that McDonald’s expanded the offering to its location at 13158 Ford Road.

Over 150,000 Muslims live in the Detroit/Dearborn area, representing an ethnic and cultural mosaic that is typical of Muslims in America. According to the Arab-American Institute, Dearborn has the highest concentration of ethnic Arabs outside of the Middle East. In some area schools, more than 90% of students are Muslim. It is not surprising, therefore, that Dearborn stores and restaurants have begun to cater to the dietary needs of Muslims. In addition to Muslim-owned businesses, other mainstream businesses such as Kroger supermarket, Big Boy restaurant and Oakwood Hospital are offering halal meats for the Muslim community.

At McDonald’s, Muslim customers were often limited to the salads and desserts. Some Muslims would eat the fries or fish sandwiches, but many worried about possible contamination from cooking oils used for other meat products.

McDonald’s restaurants are found all over the Muslim world, including three in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. In these locally-owned restaurants, meat is purchased and prepared in the local area, in accordance with local custom. Halal meat and chicken has been available in those markets for quite a while.

Following the success of halal McNuggets in Michigan, McDonald’s Corporation has since expanded the halal offering to select restaurants in Australia and the United Kingdom as well.

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