Global halal food sector set to boom as market grows

An employee shows a halal bowl of cut fruit at a dining hall in a university near Tokyo. The halal food industry has ballooned globally. (Reuters)
Updated 28 November 2017
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Global halal food sector set to boom as market grows

LONDON: The global halal food and beverage (F&B) market is set to boom in the next five years, driven by new entrants to the market.
The sector is expected to grow from $1.24 trillion in 2016 to reach $1.93 trillion by 2022, according to the “State of the Global Islamic Economy” report.
“Halal food is the largest and most diverse sector of the Islamic economy. New entrants have come into the market, and product offerings have firmly moved beyond being meat-focused to include candy, ready-made meals, snacks and children’s food,” said the report, published by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center (DIEDC) in conjunction with Thomson Reuters:
It revealed that Muslim spend on food and beverages is growing at nearly double that of global growth — creating significant opportunities for investment and the creation of global halal food brands.
Commenting on the report, Imran Kausar, co-founder of London-headquartered multinational halal food firm Haloodies, told Arab News: “The halal opportunity continues to grow with innovation and consumer-focused brands leading the way. Halal brands that capture a mainstream audience will open halal foods to even larger audiences.”
Food and beverage (F&B) leads Muslim spend by category, followed by clothing and apparel at $254 billion, media and entertainment at $198 billion, travel at $169 billion, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics at $83 billion and $57.4 billion, said the report.
It notes that established players are expanding at home and abroad through franchising and that multinationals have also made major investments in Muslim-majority markets, anticipating rising demand.
Investment and sovereign wealth funds have been particularly active, and a number of halal investment funds are in development, it said.
Family-friendly halal travel is another growth market with the number of Muslims traveling at an all-time high, and there is corresponding demand for travel that adheres to Islamic values — from hotels and beach resorts, to dining options and airlines.
Halal hotel chains are emerging and family-friendly attractions are being developed in the GCC.
Along with a plethora of new online agencies catering to Muslim tourists, Muslim equivalents of Airbnb have emerged in the UK and globally. Muslim spend on travel was $169 billion in 2016, and is expected to grow to $283 billion by 2022.
Designer brands and boutiques are also developing new modest fashion lines and Ramadan collections.
The reports said: “Start-up modest fashion brands have also been making inroads around the world, particularly for hijabs, gaining traction by spreading the word through social media. Modest athletic apparel is a notably trendy segment, with Nike getting in on the act as well as Danish label Hummel. Muslim spend on clothing was $254 billion in 2016, and is forecast to reach $373 billion by 2022.
Romanna Bint-Abubaker, founder and CEO of global modest fashion brand Haute-Elan.com, told Arab News: “As the first global marketplace for modest fashion, we welcome international brands in producing collections and products for the fastest growing global consumer (Muslims). Our primary issue as a marketplace is the current supply does not meet demand and our consumers are still forced to go to the high street for their basic ­requirements.”


China files WTO challenge to US $200 billion tariff plan

Updated 14 min 46 sec ago
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China files WTO challenge to US $200 billion tariff plan

BEIJING: China announced it filed a World Trade Organization challenge Monday to US President Donald Trump’s proposal for a tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese goods, reacting swiftly amid deepening concern about the economic impact of their spiraling technology dispute.
The one-sentence Commerce Ministry statement gave no legal grounds for the challenge or other details. It is an unusually rapid move for a trade case, coming less than one week after the US Trade Representative announced the tariff plan, which wouldn’t take effect until at least September.
The USTR said last week that it proposed the levy in response to Beijing’s decision to retaliate for US tariff hikes over complaints China is hurting American companies by stealing or pressuring foreign enterprises to hand over technology.
China criticized the move but has yet to say whether it would retaliate for the second round of tariffs. Its lopsided trade balance with the United States means it has only $80 billion of annual imports of American goods left for retaliation following its earlier measures.
Beijing has stepped up diplomatic efforts to recruit support from Europe, South Korea and other trading partners but so far without success.