Birmingham Evening Mail (England)
Byline: KRYSIA DIVER
A RIVAL to Coca Cola and a rejection of socalled ‘American imperialism’ has been launched in the city.
Mecca Cola has opened its UK base in Sparkbrook 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 in the United States.’
Ten per cent of Mecca Cola profits will support the Palestinian cause and a further ten per cent will 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 50 years ago.
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 become the Muslim Colonel Sanders with a chain called HFC – Halal Fried Chicken.
In the heavily Muslim northern districts of Paris, Mecca Cola is sold for the equivalent of pounds 1.05 per 1.5 litre bottle and is gradually penetrating mainstream supermarkets.
MUSLIM ALTERNATIVE: Tawfik Mathlouthi (left) and Shahid Yaqoob. Picture: Alan Williams