The Birmingham Post (England)
1 – 7 – 2003
A Muslim businessman has launched an Islamic rival to Coca Cola.
Mecca Cola has opened its UK base in Birmingham after selling two million bottles worldwide in two months from France.
Creator of the product, Tawfik Mathlouthi, who flew into Birmingham for the launch, said: ‘This is not just a beverage, this is about boycotting American products.
‘We want to give people an alternative to supporting the savage capitalism of the United States.’
He said that ten per cent of Mecca Cola profits would support the Palestinian cause and a further ten per cent would be donated to UK charities.
Mr Mathlouthi said: ‘We want to show the rest of the world that Muslims are not terrorists and that we are charitable people.’
The UK distribution centre of Mecca Cola will be run by the National Halal Food Group, which was set up in Birmingham in 1995.
Shahid Yaqoob, marketing director of Mecca Cola Distribution UK, said: ‘Mecca Cola has been pilot-tested across the UK to much acclaim, which is why we decided to act as the central distribution point.
‘This is all about giving people of all cultures, not only Muslims, the chance to buy an alternative to Coca Cola and Pepsi and to say ‘no’ to backing American imperialism.’
Mr Mathlouthi, who has ploughed pounds 100,000 into the project, hopes to benefit from boycotts of American brands in several Arab countries.
In the spring, he plans to open a chain called HFC – Halal Fried Chicken.