A recent grocery trip to a well reputed super store located in a posh area of Karachi bought me to a literal staggering halt. It was quite shocking to see Nescafe Amaretto and Irish Crème flavoured coffees available on the shelves, an easy grab for anyone wanting to get a taste of the bitter forbidden but much tantalizing liquid.
For those who are still clueless as to my appalled reaction Amaretto and Irish Crème are flavoured liquors in which amaretto is made from bitter almonds whereas Irish Crème is a mix of Irish whiskey, cream and other ingredients like coffee. Admittedly it can be argued that flavouring and extracts are not actual liquors and the negligible amount of alcohol present in them can certainly be evaporated during processing; however, I wonder why multinationals are inclined towards introducing unnecessary products into the market of an Islamic country where the culture and beliefs have already been tarred by the glitz of our untamed media.
On inquiry with the staff of the super store after an initial reaction of total cluelessness they tried to mitigate the situation by claiming that such products are usually targeted for foreign and non-Muslim consumers and yet there was no measure to stop me from buying the product if I chose to do so. There wasn’t even a sign or label indicating how such a product could be harmful towards my beliefs.
The question that I would really like such multinationals and foreign companies to answer is how profitability in any way is comparable to bringing our youth or anyone towards such the paths of alcoholism and substance abuse. What’s next? Cocaine and heroin ‘flavoured’ beverages? How much more warning time are they willing to allot us before they start marketing actual liquors on our shelves?
MRS AIZA SARFARAZ