Reaping the rewards

As international demand for halal products rises, Ben Watts examines
the size and potential of a market that is attracting attention from
operators around the world — in F&B and beyond.

Today, with a rising number of Muslims living in countries outside
the Islamic world, a growing number of Shariah-compliant hotels coming
online and increased cultural understanding from non-Muslims, the
market for halal foodstuffs is flourishing.

According to statistics from the organisers of the 3rd Halal Expo
2009 — Dubai, set to take place this November, the halal food market
constitutes some 12% of the global trade in food products.

By 2025 this figure is forecasted to reach 20%, with Muslims expected to account for 30% of the world’s population.

Today, many national trade missions are realising the great
potential of halal products and are starting to capitalise on an
industry that can no longer be ignored.

Jose Ma Dinsay, commercial attaché for the Philippine Trade and
Investment Centre, UAE, revealed that the south Asian country was among
those targeting the Middle East market.

“Given the food supply requirement and high per-capita income of the
leading GCC nations, we have identified the tremendous opportunity in
tapping into their burgeoning demand for halal products,” explains

“In line with this we are taking significant efforts aimed at
increasing our halal exports, including the establishment of a local
body to certify products and ensure that they meet stringent Halal

Robert Earley, Pureland brand manager for Food Service Trading,
regional distributors for the US foodstuff supplier Rastelli Foods,
notes: “The marketing of halal products has improved over the past five
years or so, as western manufacturers and producers strive to promote
their brands in the Middle East.

“When sourcing halal products, it’s vital to be able trace the
product back to the facility where the animal was harvested in order to
verify that the process was conducted in accordance with the halal

As a result, Earley explains that manufacturers and processing plants must be able to provide care-certified documentation.