Doner kebap: overhauls hamburger in Germany

Hamburg / DE. (wib) Doner, the ubiquitous Turkish fast food made with lamb, beef or chicken, is further gaining popularity in Europe, even overhauls American fast food products. Throughout Europe the daily production of döner hits 400 tons, resulting in a 3,5 billion USD annual turnover. Specialists emphasize that the market share of döner in Europe goes beyond that of firms such as Burger King and McDonald´s.

The official spokesman of the European Döner Producers Association (ATDID) Tarkan Tasyumruk says that in Europe, and Germany in particular, döner is surging in popularity. According to leading döner chains döner could become the No. 1 fast food in Europe, if producers and suppliers are more careful with hygiene and quality.

Döner kebap, which began to be consumed in West Germany in 1970s, became an accepted Turkish product in Europe through its economic price, delicious taste and Western-style fast food character. The döner business, production and supply of which lies mostly in the hands of the Turkish community, sells nearly 300 tons daily in Germany. The sector retains the possibility of further expansion and is an important business field for Turks.

The meat dish is sold in 13.000 to 14.000 restaurants and cafeterias in Germany. The number of people working in this sector is about 60.000, with 5.000 working as producers. The annual turnover of the döner sector is 2,4 billion USD in Germany and more than 3,5 billion USD across Europe. France, Belgium, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands and Spain are other significant döner consumers outside of Germany. The demand for döner in most of these countries is generally supplied by producers in Germany. There have been attempts to establish standards in the production of döner to enlarge the market share.

Producers suffered last year in the aftermath of spoiled meat in the sector becoming a focus in German media. ATDID, an organization established predominantly by producers in Berlin, continues its attempts to introduce döner more efficiently internationally and provide solidarity between producers. The Hamburg Vocational School of Gastronomy has also begun work on a six-month course and certificate program from döner producers. This course, given the name «Meat Processing and Specialization in Döner Kebap Production», will have its first graduates this month. Why Hamburg? Because döner kebab today has a German (fast food) identity like the often cited bratwurst.