Global Halal Food Market
The Government of Canada has prepared this report based on primary and secondary sources of information. Readers should take note that the Government of Canada does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained in this report, nor does it necessarily endorse the organizations listed herein. Readers should independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the information. This report is intended as a concise overview of the market for those interested in its potential and is not intended to provide in-depth analysis which may be required by the individual exporter. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada assumes no responsibility for its accuracy, reliability, or for any decisions arising from the information contained herein.
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Table of Contents
Global Halal Food Market
Halal Requirements for Food Products and Ingredients
Food Import Regulations
- Islam is one of the largest and fastest-growing religions in the world; close to 25% of the world’s population is Muslim, nearly 1.6 billion people.
- Food products prepared following a set of Islamic dietary laws and regulations, which determine what is permissible, lawful and clean, are classified as halal.
- The halal food market has grown quickly over the past decade, and is now worth an estimated $632 billion annually on a global scale.
- Strong economic growth and rising per capita incomes have fuelled demand for diversified halal products, enabling higher consumption levels and more opportunities for halal food producers.
- Halal consumption is not limited only to the Muslim population; other consumer goods are seeking halal food due to halal food’s excellent reputation for healthy and safe food products, and the humane treatment of animals.
- Canadian agri-food exports to key halal markets exceeded $3.2 billion in 2010.
- Meat for export to Muslim countries must be certified as halal by an accredited Canadian halal certifying body. Canadian certifying bodies must be recognized in the export market(s) in question.
Muslims represent an estimated 25% of the world’s population, with around 1.6 billion consumers. This large consumer market presents several opportunities for halal food products. Not only is the Muslim population growing, but Muslim consumers are increasingly better educated, with higher household incomes, creating a worldwide demand for mainstream products and services that conform to Islamic values. Halal food is prepared following a set of Islamic dietary laws and regulations that determine what is permissible, lawful and clean.
The halal food market has grown quickly over the past decade, and is now worth an estimated $632 billion annually. As such, it represents close to 17% of the entire global food industry. In order to conform to Islamic standards; all Muslims must ensure that they are only consuming halal approved food, drink and medicine. The large population of Muslims adhering to halal requirements has fuelled increased global demand for halal products. Several multinationals, such as Tesco, McDonalds and Nestlé, have recognized this, and have expanded their halal approved product lines. Because of the traditional nature of the marker, it is estimated that these multinationals control 90% of the global halal market.
|Africa||150.6 billion||155.9 billion||3.5%|
|Asia||400.0 billion||418.1 billion||4.5%|
|Europe||66.6 billion||69.3 billion||4.1%|
|Australia/Oceania||1.2 billion||1.6 billion||33.3%|
|Americas||16.1 billion||16.7 billion||3.6%|
|Total Halal Food Market Size||634.5 billion||661.6 billion||4.3%|
Source: World Halal Forum 2009 Post Event Report and the 6th World Halal Forum Presentation
The global halal food market was not significantly affected by the global financial recession. Halal food market sizes for 2010 were larger than originally projected, with the total halal market valued at US$661 billion. This marked a 4.2% increase from the 2009 value. The global halal food market has grown substantially since 2004, seeing a 12.6% increase between 2004 and 2010.
Major growth in Asia has been driven by changing lifestyles that allow for higher incomes. The largest contributors to the halal market in Asia are Indonesia, China, India, Malaysia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. These countries have all seen substantial growth in the halal food industry that is unlikely to be curbed in the near future.
There is also strong potential for halal certified products in non-majority Muslim markets, where consumers are looking for safe and ethical products. The increasing popularity of the halal market in Europe is driven by Russia, France and the United Kingdom. The halal market in these countries has continued growing since 2004, albeit at a slower pace than Asian markets. A major opportunity can be found in the Australia/Oceania region, where the halal food market saw growth of 33.3% between 2009 and 2010.
A key area for development is in the supply of halal certified products to more affluent Muslim and non-Muslim consumers looking for a more diverse range of halal products. Canada’s reputation for high-quality, well regulated and safe agri-food products make it well positioned to enter the global halal market.
The most promising halal markets span over a range of different countries. As the largest populations of Muslim’s are located in the Asia-Pacific region, both majority and non-majority Muslim countries in this region would have high demand for halal products. However, markets in North Africa and the Middle East are particularly lucrative markets, as several countries have majority-Muslim populations. The halal food industry is also growing in countries that have smaller populations of Muslims, but that have food quality and safety concerns, such as Australia, the United States and European countries.
Key halal markets include Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Morocco, Iran, Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Qatar, Bahrain, Syria, Oman and Pakistan. Emerging halal markets with relatively large Muslim populations include India (177 million Muslims), China (23 million), Russia (16 million), the Philippines (5 million), France (5 million), Germany (4 million) and the United Kingdom (3 million).
|Region||Muslim Population||Percentage of World Muslim Population|
|Middle East-North Africa||321.9 million||19.9%|
|Sub Saharan Africa||242.5 million||15.0%|
|WORLD TOTAL||1,619.3 million||100%|
Despite the Middle East housing the largest number of Muslim countries, it is the Asia-Pacific region where the largest populations of Muslims are concentrated. The Asia-Pacific region is home to more than 1 billion Muslim people. The four largest countries in terms of Muslim population reside on the Asian continent, including Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and accounted for 709 million Muslims in 2010. As an emerging region, many Asian nations are seeing rising per capita incomes. However, total food consumption is still lower than many areas of the world, posing challenges for food exporters to the region.
Despite this, the Asia-Pacific region continued to sustain high growth rates through the global financial recession. As a result, consumers in these countries are more willing to buy goods. Exporters would find a lucrative halal market in Asian countries, not only because of increased purchasing power, but also resulting from more affluent consumers becoming more concerned about the humane treatment of animals. As this is one of the requirements of halal food and products, affluent consumers that are not necessarily Muslim present a new consumer base for halal products. Higher incomes also bring about demand for more diversified products, opening up a new and growing market for halal exporters.
In recent years, a number of Asian nations have begun to emerge as centres for halal standardization, research, testing, production and international trade. Malaysia is aiming to become an international halal hub and has hosted the World Halal Forum annually since 2006. (For more information about the World Halal Forum see: www.worldhalalforum.org). The Halal Development Corporation and Nestlé’s Centre of (Halal) Excellence are also located in Malaysia. The food industry in Singapore is also attempting to become a halal hub and has launched large advertising campaigns in the Middle East. Thailand is trying to be recognized as a Halal Centre of Excellence in science and testing. Both China and India have expanding halal industries, with a competitive advantage due to low costs of labour. Many Indian companies are trying to gain recognition through Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and halal certification. Brunei is cooperating with Australia, attempting to combine its role in the Muslim world with Australia’s reputation for safe, high quality food production.
Middle East and North Africa
Other high potential markets for halal food products are centred in the Middle East and North Africa. Not only are these regions import-dependent for food, but consumers are predominantly Muslim with rising per capita incomes, which provides a lucrative market for halal food. The region also has a large tourism industry, especially in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Dubai and Singapore, which provides increased demand for halal food products. The region has a total population of close to 400 million, the majority of which is Muslim.
Several Middle Eastern countries, namely members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), have higher incomes and consequently higher per capita rates on consumption. The majority of countries in the region are classified as middle-income, with several countries, such as United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, classified as high-income. As such, there is a high concentration of wealth in the area and in recent years, there has also been rapid infrastructure growth facilitating trade. United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are two important markets in this region; both countries have high incomes and per capita rates of consumption. Turkey, although secular, is a growing market for halal and a potential supplier of halal products to the European Union (Germany, France and Russia’s large Muslim populations).
North Africa is also an important market for halal food products, as the region imports the majority of its food. This region has seen rising per capita incomes and higher levels of education, which have both contributed to demand for more diversified products. Egypt is the largest halal market in North Africa with more than 70 million Muslims.
Muslim’s make up 29.6% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Nigeria ranking as the largest consumer base, as it has the largest population in the region. Several countries in this region, including Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Somalia and Guinea, are classified as Muslim-majority countries.
The region generally has low purchasing power, as incomes are low. However, Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see continuous growth in the upcoming years, making it an important market for halal food products. Despite low incomes, countries in which the majority of the population is Muslim will continue to present demand for halal foodstuffs.
The European Union (EU) is a lucrative market for halal exports. High per capita incomes and a growing Muslim population will likely increase demand for halal products. This more affluent consumer market is becoming more concerned about food safety and quality. Both Muslim and non-Muslim European consumers are presenting new demand for safer food. This consumer base is also increasingly concerned about the humane treatment of animals, which is one of the requirements of halal prepared food. The perceptions that halal products are safer and more ethical have caused increase demand for these products in the European market.
Russia possesses the largest Muslim population in Europe, presenting opportunities for halal food exporters. France is another key halal market in Europe, with the second largest population of Muslims. France’s halal market is currently worth $7.6 billion in annual sales. The Muslim population of West Europe (France, Germany and the Netherlands) is expected to increase, resulting in further demand. The Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands is a key halal entry port into the EU, as it dedicates a warehouse for halal products to ensure they do not come into contact with alcohol or pork. Germany and the United Kingdom also have major potential as halal markets given their significant purchasing power. There are also substantial Muslim communities in Eastern Europe, specifically Albania (82% Muslim), Bosnia/Herzegovina (41%), Kosovo (92%), Macedonia (35%) and Russia (12%). Several European companies, including Tahira Food (UK), Mecca Foods (Germany), Isla (France) and Halaland (France) are major halal food exporters and producers.
Muslims account for 0.6% of the population of the Americas, numbering 5.3 million. The Muslim population in Canada and the United States is expected to grow, presenting new opportunities in the halal food markets of North America. The largest Muslim population in South America resides in Argentina, numbering 1 million.
The population of Muslims in the Americas is small compared to that of the Middle East; so many Muslims do not have convenient access to halal foods. As such, this market shows strong potential for growth, as Muslim consumers in the Americas continue to demand halal products. Canada’s close relations with the US and Latin America would contribute to its success in exporting halal products to these regions. Several US companies have recognized this opportunity, and have become significant exporters of halal products; companies such as Cargill, ConAgra, Tyson, and Oscar Mayer have halal product lines.
There has been a universal shift in the supply chains of halal food products. Traditionally, halal food products were offered in small halal/ethnic speciality stores. As halal products gained a larger presence in Europe and the Americas, they were increasingly introduced to Western-style grocery stores, such as supermarkets and hypermarkets. The expansion of Western-style retail food settings in Africa, the Middle East and Asia has prompted companies to supply halal food products through these chains in addition to traditional small ethnic specialty stores. European supermarkets and hypermarkets in particular have reported increased demand for halal food products.
The foodservice market has also been a major player in terms of using halal food products. In addition to restaurants, halal is served in other foodservice areas such as university, school and hospital cafeterias, prisons, airline services, and the military. Developing hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) sectors have also been integrating halal products into their menus, presenting ample opportunity for Canadian exporters to fill this demand.
Several regions with large Muslim populations, including Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa, have experienced busier lifestyles and increased incomes. With more income to dispose of, and less time to do so, there has been widespread demand for convenience products that still conform to Islamic dietary laws. As a result, ready-to-eat meal solutions have become increasingly popular, and present a growing market for halal food exporters. In addition, fast-food and take-away food has been growing in popularity, providing more opportunity for Canadian halal exporters to fill this new demand.
Conversely, these countries have also been influenced by the global health and wellness trend, which has sparked demand for halal health products. Some organization have already begun offering premium beef, turkey and chicken products that are low fat, free of lactose, MSG, soya and gluten. Canada’s reputation as a supplier of safe and high-quality products make it well positioned to supply this demand.
Gateways to the halal market include:
- Production and processing
- Supplying hotels, restaurants and institutions
- Providing inputs to the processing sector
- Private label production
Canadian agri-food exports to key halal markets exceeded $3 billion in 2010. The United Arab Emirates was the dominant market for Canadian agri-food exports, closely followed by Bangladesh. Grain was one of the most popular exports to these key halal markets. While not specifically halal related, Canada’s trade relationships with these countries serve as a potential base on which to launch halal products and extend trade relations.
Exports to several halal markets have grown over the years. Overall, these markets saw 24% growth from 2007-2010. Agri-food exports to Oman increased 809% between 2007 and 2010, while agri-food exports increased 487% to Syria, 472% to Turkey, 185% to Egypt and 204% to Bahrain. Other markets saw moderate increases or decreased from 2007 to 2010, and the majority of these countries saw much higher exports between 2007 and 2008.
|Country||Canadian Agri-food Exports||Canada Beef and Veal Exports||Canada Poultry Exports|
|United Arab Emirates||$533.5 million||991,379||11,958|
|Saudi Arabia||$273.4 million||51,595||0|
|TOTAL||$3,194.1 million||$4.6 million||$1.2 million|
Potential Markets for Canadian Exporters
Canada has long-standing trade relations with several key halal markets. Canada’s top export market in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, is one such partner. Exports of bovine meat have increased 5383% since 2007, representing a new and lucrative market for Canadian beef exporters. Poultry exports to the country were high in 2009, likely because of the economic recession.
Bangladesh is currently the largest Canadian agri-commodity buyer in South Asia. Despite strong trade relations with the country, Canada does not export significant amounts of beef and veal or chicken to the country. As one of Canada’s largest trading partners in the region, Canadian exporters will find a lucrative halal market in the predominantly Muslim country.
Poultry exports to Pakistan have increased 341% since 2005, and have seen a steady increase between 2008 and 2010. As Canadian exporters have already entered the poultry industry in Pakistan, there are several opportunities to export other meats and products that adhere to halal requirements.
Canadian exporters have already entered the beef and veal markets of both Indonesia and Egypt, two of Canada’s largest halal export markets in this category. This foothold will allow exporters to offer a wider range of products to consumers in these countries, including halal poultry and other halal products.
Despite some variation in the interpretation of halal requirements, they are generally minor. Main food items that are prohibited (haram) under Islamic dietary laws include: swine/pork and its by products, animals improperly slaughtered, alcohol and intoxicants, carnivorous animals, birds of prey, land animals without external ears, blood, contaminated foods and foods containing questionable ingredients such as gelatine, emulsifiers and enzymes.
Preservatives are also questionable food ingredients, as well as other products used in the production of food including processing aids, lubricants, cleaning agents, sanitizers and packaging material.
Genetically-modified organisms and biotechnology raise new challenges for halal certification. Regarding transgenic foods, plant to plant gene transfer is acceptable; however, animal-to-plant or animal-to-animal gene transfer is questionable and may, or may not, be acceptable.
CODEX has general guidelines for the use of the term “halal” available at: www.codexalimentarius.net/download/standards/352/CXG_024e.pdf
Food Safety and Sanitation
A number of measures ensure the safety and cleanliness of halal foods and have helped build the perception in certain markets (such as the Dutch market) that halal food is safer. Halal food preparation includes safety controls such as HACCP food safety systems. Furthermore, allergen and chemical control is achieved through the identification of cross contaminants and allergens, as well as the declaration of all ingredients. Additional safeguards include careful employee training and halal food laws and regulatory requirements.
Halal certification allows access to growing export markets in Asia, Middle East and Africa, all of which require proper certification. Meat must be certified as halal by an accredited Canadian halal certifying body. Canadian certifying bodies must be recognized in the export market(s) in question.
No standard certification for halal exists and certification requirements vary by country. A number of organizations in North America are recognized as halal-certifiers for various products in several key Muslim markets. Examples of certifying organizations include the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Halal Certification Agency and the Islamic Services of Omaha. Exporters should check with importing governments to determine which organizations are recognized as halal-certifiers for specific products, as certification requirements vary by country and product.
To see a list of approved halal certifying bodies, please see the following United States Department of Agriculture report: gain.fas.usda.gov
Profile of a Certifying Organization: Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America
IFANCA is a non-profit technical Islamic organization that certifies and supervises the production of halal products. IFANCA was founded in 1980 and has worked with major companies such as Crest and McDonald’s. IFANCA also finds solutions for new challenges relating to halal food, publishes relevant information and consults with Islamic scholars on practical issues facing Muslims in selecting food products.
IFANCA has offices in Vancouver and Toronto, as well as Chicago, Los Angeles, Brussels and Kuala Lumpur. They also have representatives in Pakistan, India and China. IFANCA provides halal certification directly or through affiliates in 50 countries. It works closely with the Islamic Food Council of Europe (IFCE) and many other organizations. IFANCA certifies over 22,000 products including dairy products, meat and poultry, prepared entrées, frozen foods, ice cream, candy, food ingredients, nutritional products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and packaging materials.
IFANCA halal certification is recognized by:
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) (Singapore)
- Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM)
- Muslim World League (MWL) (Saudi Arabia)
- Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI)
- Islamic Committee Office of Thailand
- Philippine Halal Association
- United Arab Emirates (UAE) Municipalities
It is important to note that IFANCA recognition does not necessarily apply to all food products, or ensure that the country in question will allow imports. Specific requirements for each importing country and product must be verified prior to export.
Food import regulations detail country-specific requirements, including ingredients allowed and labelling requirements, and should be consulted prior to export. Consult the Canadian Embassy (www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/eng/trade-offices.jsp) in the destination country, the importing government or your importer for more information about import regulations.
Some things to consider include:
- Requirements for dating products vary. Regulations may require production and expiry dates, not just a “best before” date.
- Shelf life is often government mandated, although many countries are moving away from this, to a manufacturer’s shelf life.
- Packaging may be required in the host country’s language, although it may be possible to introduce a new product with a sticker listing ingredients.
Other possible barriers to Canadian agri-food exporters include sanitary and phytosanitary issues, trade agreements and technical barriers such as labelling, food standards and food certification.
Several challenges arise when exporting halal food products. One major barrier exporters encountered was that the packaging and labelling must be suited to local tastes. Several halal products have failed due to poor packaging and poor product adaptability to the local market.
Halal markets are also fragmented. Different sects of Islam have unique definitions of what is means to be halal. The market is further fragmented due to differences in income level, awareness levels, location, and religion and ethnicity. As a result, a one-size fits all strategy will not be conducive to business. Products must be targeted to the local population.
Many major halal importers have difficult logistic situations that deter halal imports and their distribution. Costs may be high for countries, especially those in Central Asia that do not have a sea port.
Finally, consumers may lose confidence in the product’s halal status. It is important to ensure that halal certification comes from a reputable body. Halal status should be preserved, not misused. If consumers lose confidence in the product’s halal status, they will not continue to buy it.
Australia and New Zealand have capitalized on their image as high quality, safe and reliable food suppliers, and are Canada’s major competitors in the halal industry, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, Australia and New Zealand are both major contributors to the HRI sector in Indonesia, and Australia holds the largest market share in Indonesia of dairy products, beef, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, wine and few processed products. More than 80% of Australia’s cattle exports go to Indonesia. However, Canada ranks as one of the few countries to have a domestic halal certification body approved by the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), providing a gateway to the halal industry in this country.
The Arab peninsula and the Gulf region are mainly supplied by the United States and the EU, who have been in the market for many years. Despite this, several US meat exports have been banned in this region as a result of halal certification issues. Despite the US being the primary agri-food trade partner of many of these countries, they are not the primary halal supplier. Turkey is also an up and coming halal food exporter, especially to the EU.
Brazil has also become a major supplier of halal meat products and has dominated the poultry market in the past few years. The country accounts for approximately 32% of the world’s beef exports, with main destinations including Russia, the Middle East, the EU and North Africa. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef, and second largest exporter of poultry, which is mainly exported to the Middle East and North Africa. Close to 33% of Brazilian poultry and 40% of its meat production are supplied to the global halal market. The country has not only emerged as a major supplier of halal meat, but has also become a major source of other halal-certified consumables including coffee, chocolate and biscuits.
While Asia is a market of interest, simply because of its size as the largest Muslim region, it must be noted that key players in the region are taking steps to become key halal suppliers or certifiers. Their efforts to date have already expanded beyond their own regional confines and they will surely be major players in the global halal market. On the positive side, as markets with limited agricultural capabilities attempt to become international certifiers and halal hubs, they will most likely be looking for inputs to meet the needs of a growing industry.
Changing world demographics and increasing global demand are resulting in new opportunities in the global halal food market. The growing Muslim population will increase demand for halal food products, and the emergent consumer market of non-Muslims who consume halal food products for ethical and safety reasons will become increasingly important. Increasing incomes in majority-Muslim countries around the world have driven consumers to seek new and differentiated halal certified products that are not readily available in the market.
There is also a growing emphasis on product safety and quality. Local perceptions of halal products are important in consolidating a loyal consumer base. Canada’s reputation as a supplier of high quality and safe food products may assist Canadian companies in entering the global halal market.
Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA)
130 Dundas Street East
Telephone: (905) 275-0477
Fax: (647) 477-7419
8798 Delvista Drive
Telephone: (604) 807-0863
Fax: (604) 582-1300
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Halal Certification Agency
2200 South Sheridan Way
Telephone: (905) 403-8406
Fax: (905) 403-8409
Islamic Center of Omaha
PO Box 4546
Omaha, Nebraska 68104
Telephone: (402) 572-6120
Fax: (402) 572-4020
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