Connect with Arab Americans on Ramadan but know what you can market to them

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the holiest month for Muslims all around the world. Its exact date varies, depending on the sighting of the Ramadan (new) moon. Lasting for approximately 30 days, it is a period of prayer, fasting, abstinence and charity. During Ramadan, Muslims (including Arab-Americans), fast from sunrise to sunset. Every evening, family and friends get together and partake in ‘Iftar’, (the first meal after a Fast), that turns fasting into feasting.

The potential for connecting with Arab American consumers is enormous, especially for Iftar-related products like juices, foods, desserts, restaurants, fast-food chains, as well as for companies dealing in money transfers; zakat (charity) and gift-giving play a big role in Ramadan.

In the Middle East, many multinationals have gone a step further by even tailoring their product offerings toward Ramadan. Starbucks, for example, introduced the Date Frappuccino, Pistachio Coffee Delight, and Fig & Walnut bars – all using the Iftar favorites: date and nuts. Some Islamic banks even defer the payment of loans during this holy month.

Is there anything that should not be marketed to the Arab Americans during Ramadan? Yes. Luxury goods, gold jewelry and other status symbols, as these directly contradict one of the core values of Ramadan – austerity.

Ramadan Kareem. (Have a generous Ramadan).

- by Dennis Clemente


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