The expanding Halal food market represents a significant opportunity for food and beverage, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies with a growing Muslim population of about 1.7 billion worldwide. By 2025, the halal consumers will make up 30 percent of the world demographic.
Some 25 years ago, the halal market was still in a developmental stage on the global scene. Today, the word halal has gained continuous momentum both in the industry and halal community at large due to the transformation and rapid benefits of sophisticated communication.
Halal is a benchmark for safety, quality and lifestyle choice, as it is accepted by Muslim and non-Muslim consumers.
To demystify the concept of “halal” for the benefits of halal and non-halal consumers, halal is an Arabic word meaning “permissible or allowed.” Hence, what is allowed and permissible is strictly from the Qur’an, the holy book sent to mankind. In addition to what is permissible or allowed, the following A, B, C of consuming halal is an order of Allah, an essential part of the Islamic faith.
“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth that is lawful and pure”. (The Qur’an, 2:168)
As a rule thumb, everything is halal except:
- Alcohol / Drugs / Intoxicants.
- Blood (flowing of congealed).
- Carnivorous animals & birds of prey.
- Dead animal (bird that died of itself).
- Immolated food.
- Swine and its by-products.
The same requirements apply to food additives. Some additives, which may have pork derivatives or may be derived from permitted animal species that were not slaughtered according to halal protocol, are not permitted. Halal foods are not meat only. They cover the whole spectrum of food categories including meats, dairy, bakery goods (bread, biscuits, and cookies), fruits/vegetables (fresh and processed) condiments, spices, snack foods, confectionery as well as beverages.
There are other aspects of non-food component that is also a huge market ready to be served; for instance, the cosmetic world and its related beauty products.
The pharmaceutical products are also poised to capture this niche of the halal pharma products. Other industries are:
- Tourism & Travel
- Hotels & Restaurants
- Industrial food services
- Catering companies
- Food distribution channel
- Wholesale & Retail Supermarkets
- Further processing & production companies
- Primary agriculture
- Cosmetics and beauty products
- Halal organic products
The increasing benefits regarding the halal activities are:
- It is a significant market
- Younger population
- Disposable income
- Bigger food expenditure
- Growing at a faster rate
- Professionals & mobile
- Digitally connected
- Faith base food
- Resilient and durable market
- Dated back 1436 years
The halal concept also works in harmony with other existing food regulatory systems.
Halal harmonizes and compliments current food safety and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) protocols that are implemented in the industrialized world.
In the years to come, Turkey will play a major role into halal production, and will be positioned and possibly become a hub for all halal activities from food, clothing and other commodities with a reputable Halal Certification Agency such as Gimdes Halal Certification in Turkey which also belongs to the (WHC) World Halal Council comprising of more than 30 countries issuing halal certification to companies seeking to adhere to halal compliance and protocol.
The World Halal Council has set standards for the food industry to comply with when it comes to halal food regardless where it comes from to protect the integrity of halal consumers globally.
Change is inevitable; we experience the dynamics of change on a daily basis. Hence halal is becoming a major trend especially in the industrialized countries where most of the halal productions are taking place.
To summarize, halal is good for humanity, healthy, and has a holistic approach to what we consume daily to become a better human being.
* M.Ehsan Sairally is the Director of HPDS-Canada (Halal Product Development Services in Canada). HPDS is a member of WHC (World Halal Council) and AAHC (Association of American Halal Certifiers.) (www.halalproductservices.com)