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1599x0x Turkish-German fast-food the doner kebap goes upscale

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  • T.R.H.
    Feb 14, 2009
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      x0x Turkish-German fast-food the doner kebap goes upscale

      By Jacob Comenetz February 11, 2009, 17:04

      Since its introduction by Turkish immigrants in
      West Berlin in the early 1970s, the doner kebap
      has developed into a fast-food staple across
      Germany and other parts of Europe. New quality
      rules will protect consumers but raise doner
      prices at the same time. Dner-lovers everywhere,
      take note: the days of the ultra-cheap
      Turkish-German sandwich may be numbered. Dner

      "In Germany today, 15,000 stands sell the doner
      kebap, while in Berlin alone it's 1,100."

      Occasional spoiled meat scandals and sheer
      oversupply had driven prices down to one euro in
      some parts of Berlin, Europes doner capital, in
      recent years, though prices tend to be higher
      elsewhere. A new quality label is being developed
      that would guarantee the quality of the doner
      meat. But the new standards will also serve to
      raise the price of the sandwich. Related Articles

      "With the economy in the shape its in, this cant
      be good news for doner fans."

      The initiative to create the new seal of quality
      was spearheaded by members of the Association of
      Turkish Dner Producers in Europe, at the
      first-ever World Dner Conference, which just
      concluded in Turkey. The conference brought
      together 140 doner producers from 16 countries.

      Conference attendee and deputy director of the
      association Mehmet Cem said that more quality
      assurance was needed to protect consumers as well
      as the industry.

      We need to establish more trust with our
      customers, Cem told the Berlin tabloid B.Z. The
      spoiled meat scandal of 2008 did a lot of damage.
      The new quality assurance program should be
      implemented by the end of the year. Then the
      doner quality will be assured from the producer
      through to the consumer, Cem said.

      In addition to the more rigorous quality
      standards, the international doner conference
      developed a few other plans. Dner producer should
      be recognized as an official job description, and
      February 1 should become the International Dner
      Day. The conference is scheduled to become an
      annual event.

      Despite its image as a small-scale, low-revenue
      business, the doner meat production is in fact a
      major industry in Germany and Europe. The 350
      European doner producers sell 3.5 billion euros
      worth of meat per year, said Cem of the
      Association of Turkish Dner Producers. In Germany
      alone, this amounts to 400 tons per day.

      Though doner kebap has become a Europe-wide
      phenomenon, the German-Turkish sandwich that began
      the craze was first sold by Mahmut Aygun, a Turkish
      immigrant to Berlin, in 1971.

      Aygun, who died three weeks ago at the age of 87,
      failed to patent the product, and so did not cash
      in on the meteoric rise of the sandwich.

      Still, it probably gave him satisfaction to see
      the popularity of the doner. In Germany today,
      15,000 stands sell the doner kebap, while in
      Berlin its 1,100.

      Though higher quality standards may help to
      improve consumer confidence in the doner, the
      higher prices may also contribute to decreased
      demand. Tags

      Erick Feijoo, a 25-year-old government affairs
      consultant in Washington, D.C. and fan of the
      doner, expressed disappointment over the pending
      hike in prices to at least 3 euros.

      Its sad to see doner prices in Berlin rise to
      these levels. This will only motivate me to seek
      out other snacks, he said.