By Jessica Costa
In Friday’s class, we have talked about a new concept, the glocalization, which is the combination of the words “globalization” and “localization”. According to investopedia.com, the term glocalization describes “a product or service that is developed and distributed globally, but is also fashioned to accommodate the user or consumer in a local market.” For example, global companies, such as McDonald, adjust their products to the local population, by selling nowadays halal hamburgers.
The same happens with the European brand Hamburger Restaurant, Quick. Unlike the United Kingdom, fast-food restaurants offering halal hamburgers are surrounded by controversy in France. In fact, 8 out of 362 restaurants Quick sold only halal hamburgers in 2009. But we have to say that these restaurants were located in suburbs where Muslims are largely living in the majority. Bacon was replaced by smoked turkey and beef was certified halal, which means the animal has been killed in the way that is demanded by Islamic law. This caused considerable discontent among some elected representatives. According to them this is discriminatory and anti-republican. A complaint was even registered against the fast-food chain. On the Quick’s side, they refute these accusations, saying that they were just coming up to consumers’ expectations. Indeed, after this change, the number of people going to halal Quick restaurants doubled. The group Quick also added that it had to follow the market’s commercial evolution, because two other rivals, one of whom is McDonald, already served halal food. At the present time 22 Quick restaurants serve halal food, next to “normal” hamburgers. Like certain observers say, it is not a matter of religion, it is just about business. If general managers see their turnover increase, they will not hesitate to spread their halal products.
Another example of glocalization is Facebook, which was originally in English, but is at the present time available in 76 languages.
In conclusion, the goal of glocalization is to reach as many people as possible by adapting big companies’ products to the local market. This often implies more profits for managers, even if the product is altered radically.