retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Last week, MNB took note of a piece about how some activists in Canada are targeting Campbell Soup for its line of Halal-certified soups and broths there, calling for a boycott of the company; an anti-Campbell’s Facebook page reportedly has more than 2,000 followers.

According to the story, “the Campbell's Halal line is certified by the Islamic Society of North America, a large and mainstream Muslim umbrella group. It clearly denounces terrorism and has widespread support among non-Muslim religious and political leaders.” And the piece notes that Halal foods “are merely those that hew to basic Islamic dietary laws such as a ban on pork products.”

Ironically, the soup line was introduced a year ago, but the controversy was fanned by the debate in the US over the Islamic community center being planned for a couple of blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan, which has been characterized as the “Ground Zero mosque.”

My comment:

I think there is a technical, scientific name for these activists.


Does anyone really think that by selling soups to people who observe a Halal diet, Campbell is supporting terrorism?

Does anyone really think that slogans like "M-M-M-M-M-Muslim Brotherhood Good?" are either fair or useful?

Does anyone really think that creating this controversy is anything other than not-so-veiled racism?

They probably can’t do it, but I really wish the folks at Campbell Soup would say to these people the same thing that Woody Allen’s character said to the congressional committee at the end of “The Front”.

One MNB user disagreed:

I don’t want my name printed, and in fact, you don’t even really need to print my comment if it doesn’t fit with your agenda, but “morons”? Why don’t you read the attached PDF file about Halaal before you go that far.  The people that require Halaal foods are fundamentally “anti” everything about you. They are the ones who should scare you. Think of that the next time you have a glass of wine... oh great Satan Coupe.

First of all, I take great pride in post comments that don’t fit with my “agenda.”

Second, I read your PDF, and other pieces about Halaal foods. You’re right. They are highly restrictive, and they are intolerant of many of the dietary practices that I embrace.

I choose not to be so intolerant. I choose not to be “fundamentally anti-everything.”

And I choose to believe that western civilization is supposed to reflect this greater openness. Does this mean that there will be cultural clashes? Of course. Recent history amply demonstrates that.

But if we want to be better than that, we actually have to be better than that.

MNB user Brendan Haslam wrote:

I am not sure I agree that the protestor’s message is “not-so-veiled racism” as Islamic people are not a race by definition but a group of followers of a particular religion. With that said, I agree and enjoyed your overall point about these ‘moron’ protestors, and think I agree with your point of view on the ‘blocks away’ Ground Zero mosque as well.

Regardless of what positive strides a society makes, as the history of time shows, there are always numbskulls that need to belong to something like this unfortunate ‘movement’ (which I believe brings the overall happiness level of these types of people upwards in a sick twisted manner).

So, as not to be a total downer, I also believe these ‘moron’ people are but a minute fraction of the U.S. or Canadian societies and thankfully the world at large.

I agree that it is a fraction. But there’s pretty good evidence out there that the fractions are multiplying.

MNB user Elizabeth Archerd wrote:

The objections to the soup line appears based on fear and ignorance - neither of which are good motives for behavior.

Not racism, no. Islam is not a race, it is the faith of over one billion human beings of many races. In my own workplace the Muslims include people of Arabic, Berber, Somali and European ancestry.

MNB user Jackie Lembke wrote:

So how do these people feel about Kosher or vegetarian or any of the other thousand things that can be put on the label? Okay slight exaggeration, just an FYI the food served in some (don’t know about all) of our prisons also has to be certified Halal. Does that mean those states are supporting terrorism too?

MNB user Marty Gillen wrote:

Forget about Halal certified soups, I just found out that Campbell's has discontinued my all time favorite condensed soup: Pepper Pot.  I've been eating since I can remember and it is gone.  Can't believe it. Following is text from the warm & fuzzy e-mail I received from Campbell's when I inquired about availability of Pepper Pot  Soup:

“Unfortunately, this product is not currently available. Tastes and preferences constantly change and there is only so much space on a supermarket shelf. Periodically, we look at the sales for our various products and are forced to make the difficult decision as to which products stay and which must be replaced.

“Inquiries such as yours remind us that sales figures aren't the only measure of a product's value. Perhaps one day Campbell's Condensed Pepper Pot Soup will make its way back to your grocer's shelf.”

Now that’s serious stuff! 🙂
KC's View: