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Halal: The new organic
The global halal market, which includes products and services complying with Islamic laws and regulations, was valued at $1.7tn in 2012, growing faster than other consumer markets despite the recent global recession. At a time when many Western markets are reaching their saturation point, Muslim consumers are becoming a target audience, and the halal market is emerging as one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world.
Despite the common belief that the term “halal” is limited to meat and poultry, opportunities in the halal market go way beyond foodstuffs alone and include cosmetics, retail, banking, travel, clothing, pharmaceuticals, media, manufacturing, and more. Once halal is understood as a lifestyle choice the range of options increases hugely.
While the focus of the industry today is on what is ‘halal’ (lawful), much of the guidance is also towards ‘tayyab’ (pure) and an approach to explain and promote halal in much the same way as organic foods has been widely adopted. Halal products are becoming more widely recognized for their wholesomeness, safety for consumption and use, more hygienic processing and higher quality of ingredients. As a result, they are gaining increasing attention from shoppers from diverse ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs.
From a market perspective, Asia and the Middle East remain the traditional major target markets for halal products, as they have the largest Muslim populations. However, in the majority of these countries, there is a need to create more awareness of halal standards and certification in order to see further expansion of the halal market.
There are also influential developing halal markets in the UK, Continental Europe and the USA, with significant market size, high purchasing power and substantial Muslim communities and they remain relatively unexplored. Changes in these developing halal markets are likely to have an increasing impact on the established markets of the Middle East and Asia, as globalization continues to shape tastes, habits and spending patterns across the world.
As halal is a process associated with religious belief and it is difficult to control and guarantee, the lack of halal certification could pose a challenge to its future expansion as it is a critical component of consumer trust. However, the possibilities for the development of a global halal standard seem to be limited, as they require either compromise, or acceptance of the diversity amongst the different Islamic schools of thought.
To find out more about the global halal opportunities, drivers behind halal market growth, as well as factors holding it back, take a look at our latest case study: Halal – Boom market held back by significant challenges.