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.”


In sluggish Russian economy, halal sees growth

Updated 21 July 2019
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In sluggish Russian economy, halal sees growth

  • Ever more producers are catering for the domestic Muslim community, which accounts for around 15 percent of Russia’s population
  • The halal economy, worth more than $2.1 trillion globally, is far from limited to meat

SHCHYOLKOVO, Russia: The manager of a sausage factory near Moscow, Arslan Gizatullin says his halal business has been feeling the pinch — not so much from Russia’s sluggish economy but competitors vying for a piece of a growing Islamic market.
Ever more producers are catering for the domestic Muslim community, which accounts for around 15 percent of Russia’s population and is set to expand, and in some cases are also setting their sights on export.
“In the last few years in general, halal’s become something of a trend in Russia,” said Gizatullin, who has been at the Halal-Ash plant in the city of Shchyolkovo for seven years.
The factory was among the first of its kind when it opened two decades ago, recreating Soviet-style sausages in accordance with Islamic law, among other products.
“Now I go to shop displays and I see sausage from one, two, three producers... I see that competition is growing,” he adds from the factory, which employs 35 people and puts out up to 1.5 tons of produce a day.
The halal economy, worth more than $2.1 trillion globally, is far from limited to meat.
Cosmetics firms and services such as halal hotels have received licenses from the body that oversees Islamic production in Russia, while state-owned Sberbank is looking into creating an Islamic finance entity.
The Center for Halal Standardization and Certification, under the authority of the Russian Council of Muftis, has approved more than 200 companies since it opened in 2007.
The center says that number is growing by five to seven companies a year — from a standing start at the collapse of the anti-religious Soviet Union.
Rushan Abbyasov, the deputy head of the Council of Muftis, told AFP the Russian agriculture ministry was supporting the center in its efforts to increase exports to the Arab world and Muslim-majority ex-Soviet republics.
“We’ve looked at international experience in the Arab world, in Malaysia, and we’ve developed our Russian (halal certification) standard following that model,” Abbyasov said in an interview at Moscow’s central mosque.
“We’re doing it in a way that matches international halal standards as well as the laws of the Russian Federation.”
The mufti pointed to an annual exhibition of halal goods and producers in the Muslim-majority Russian republic of Tatarstan, which this year saw its biggest ever turnout, as an example of the sector’s growth.
Tatar officials told Russian media the halal food market accounted for around 7 billion rubles a year ($110 million) — or just over three percent of the region’s gross agricultural output.
But they said the sector was growing at a rate of between 10 and 15 percent a year.
The certification center said Russia’s overall halal economy was also growing at a rate of 15 percent every year, but declined to give a breakdown of its figures.
Russia’s overall economy is stagnant, with the government predicting growth of only 1.3 percent this year, after 2.3 percent growth in 2018.
Alif, a Moscow-based cosmetics firm, is a new company at the forefront of the move toward exporting halal goods from Russia.
Manager Halima Hosman told AFP that, a year after launching, Alif’s products were being sold in the Muslim-majority Russian republics of Dagestan and Chechnya, as well as ex-Soviet Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
“Our priority targets for export now are France, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia,” she said, adding that the company had non-financial support from the halal certification center.
The 28-year-old, who was born into an Orthodox Christian family in southern Moldova but converted to Islam as a teen, said promoting halal products was about more than business.
“It’s a way for people who don’t know about Islam, who aren’t Muslim, to find out about what ‘halal’ actually means,” Hosman added of the alcohol- and animal fats-free cosmetics.
Lilit Gevorgyan, principal economist for Russia and former Soviet states at IHS Markit, said the growth in Russia’s halal economy seemed impressive but was coming from a “very low base.”
Further growth in the sector was likely to be driven more by export than by domestic demand, she said.
This is mainly because household incomes have yet to recover from a 2014 crisis caused by a fall in global oil prices and Western sanctions over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
“Halal food is more expensive due to its production costs, and for Russian consumers... every ruble counts,” she said, adding that much of Russia’s Muslim community was non-practicing.
Changing Muslim countries’ perception of Russia will be key if Moscow is serious about increasing halal exports, Gevorgyan added.
“Branding is important,” she said, adding that Russia — as yet — is not seen as a major halal producer.