Halal-certified businesses on a roll

| 22/04/2008 | Reply

Halal-certified businesses on a roll


Monday • April 21, 2008

HO YEEN NIE
yeennie@mediacorp.com.sg

Over the past eight years, the number of halal-certified businesses in
Singapore has grown nearly four-fold from 530 to over 2,000, and an
increasing number of eateries are catering to more adventurous palates.

Observers
said there is still plenty of room for the industry to grow as the
spending power of the Muslim community is going up. That is why more
businesses are keen to tap the global halal food market that is
estimated to be worth over $760 billion.

One such player is
Sakura International, which serves up a wide range of cuisines that are
all halal-certified. It said the variety gives them the edge in a very
competitive industry.

Mr Roger Soh, operations manager of Suki
Group of Restaurants, said: “Mirin, which is a kind of sweet wine, is
often used in preparing Japanese food. It is very difficult to get a
replacement to meet the halal requirements, so we need to bring in more
of these ingredients.”

The company, which is opening a fifth restaurant soon, said sales have gone up by 70 per cent since it turned halal in 2005.

Another
business that has seen the benefits of halal-certification is Qi Ji,
which is known for its hawker-style fare. Even though Qi Ji still has
its eye firmly on the Singapore market for the time being, it said that
being certified will definitely open doors if it moves overseas.

Mr
Alan Lau, operations director of Qi Ji, said: “In fact, we have offers
from overseas business partners for joint ventures in Dubai, Indonesia
and Brunei.”

Ms Dewi Hartaty Suratty, head of Halal
Certification Strategic Unit from Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis),
said: “Many manufacturers want to export their products to Muslim
countries like the Middle East, Indonesia and Malaysia. These countries
would require them to have a halal certificate.”

Muis said for
the past few years, it has seen a 10 per cent growth every year in the
number of applicants for halal-certification and it expects this growth
to continue going forward. — CHANNEL NEWSASIA

Category: Asia, Restaurants

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