Halal challenge: finding markets’ taste preference

BRUNEI is not taking any chances in ensuring the success of the Brunei
Halal brand with Ghanim International Food Corporation Sdn Bhd doing
its homework in making sure local producers would be able to cater to
the varied tastes of global consumers.

Noel Shield, interim
chief executive officer of the government-backed company tasked to
develop local halal products, said marketing is among the challenges
the firm is facing.

“There are lots of challenges, such as
identifying the products, developing the product to suit the market and
getting the manufacturers to adhere to our standards, getting the
accreditations done, organising shelf space in the retail level, taking
our message to the consumer, convincing the consumer that we are the
leaders in the market. These types of projects don’t happen overnight.
It will take a lot of hard work and frustration, but if we want to
guarantee success, we have to go through with it,” he said.

said every market in the world has a halal market, but that Ghanim is
gearing towards the markets which have high disposable incomes, mainly
across the Middle East and Europe. “We are aiming to position the
Brunei Halal brand to be at the best or equal to the best in that
market,” he said.

Some of the research that Ghanim is currently
undergoing includes taste requirements. “We have to identify the taste
requirements of the consumer and we need to analyse the products the
largest selling range, what sort of texture they want out of the
product and then we have go back and develop the product, or
tailor-make that product to suit the individual market.”

cited China, which has three types of oranges and that different
sectors across China would prefer different types of oranges. “The same
thing happens with all types of food. If you look at Cadbury chocolate,
it is different from Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa and so
on. So each country has got a specific taste.”

Shield said
that marketing for the brand is currently already in the process but
one of the priorities that Ghanim is focusing on is human resources.
“We will employ people and contractors from all around the world, but
obviously we want the driving force behind the business to be Brunei
citizens,” he said. He added that one of their long-term strategy would
be to employ the younger generation and train them so that they will
eventually take control of the company.

Shield told the
participants at the International Halal Market Conference that Ghanim
has narrowed down to two candidates its search for the chief executive
position which will probably be announced at the end of August. He will
remain in his post until the end of September or October. Debbie Too
The Brunei Times