Halal Food - the Trillion Dollar Opportunity

Halal Food - the Trillion Dollar Opportunity

Halal Food - the Trillion Dollar Opportunity

The growth of the Halal food market transcends the rising Muslim population, which reflects a broader consumer interest in food aligned with values of quality, ethical sourcing, security, and transparency.

The halal food and beverage market in Asia-Pacific is expected to reach trillions of dollars by 2032. This growth is driven by a rising Muslim population in the region, including people converting to Islam and those migrating from Muslim countries. Southeast Asia is a key player, with Malaysia and Indonesia leading the way in halal food exports and efforts to develop the halal sector even further. Malaysia's halal industry is expected to be a significant contributor to its economy, reaching nearly $150 billion by the end of 2025.

Overall, the halal food industry is expected to nearly double in size by 2028, with Southeast Asia leading the charge. This region is home to the world's largest Muslim population and a strong appreciation for halal principles. In fact, Southeast Asia consumes over 90% of the world's halal food.

While demand can be attributed to rising incomes and a burgeoning middle class in the region, it is not just Muslim consumers driving this growth. More and more people, regardless of religion, are drawn to halal food because it's synonymous with safety, hygiene, and ethical sourcing. Moreover, the Halal food industry now offers a vast array of products, not just meat.

Traditionally, Halal certification ensures food adheres to Islamic dietary law, encompassing the types of meat consumed (excluding pork and its derivatives) and methods of slaughter, processing, and storage (Al-Qur'an, 5:3). However, the appeal of Halal food now extends beyond religious observance. Amid heightened consumer concern about food origin and production practices, Halal certification, with its emphasis on ethical sourcing and humane treatment of animals, resonates deeply with the growing demand for transparency and ethical practices.

Innovation is driving a vibrant tapestry of Halal food flavours and choices

The Halal food market is no longer defined by limited options. At THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2024 (May 28-June 1, Bangkok), over 800 Halal exhibitors will be showcasing their products, a signifier that more manufacturers are labelling their food products as Halal certified.

It is evident that more manufacturers are also offering a wider range of Halal-certified products. For example, THAIFEX - Anuga Asia exhibitor Marujyu Soysauce & Seasoning Corp. is offering a range of Halal Certified Seasonings including Soy Sauce, Dashi Soy Sauce, Noodle Soup, Yuzu, Ponzu, and Teriyaki Sauce.

Halal-certification is increasingly intersecting with other common food trends. At THAIFEX - Anuga Asia this year, over 20% of Halal-certified food options are also labelled as organic, plant-based or sustainability-produced and packaged.

Health-conscious consumers are driving a shift in Halal-certified plant-based products, with the focus moving beyond simply mimicking meat to emphasising the nutritional value of these options. This translates to tastier and more nutritious plant-based burgers, sausages, and even nuggets.

At THAIFEX - Anuga Asia, exhibitor Cremer Sustainable Foods Pte Ltd has plant-based braised Mala Duck Strips which resemble the taste of meat. It’s a HME (high moisture extrusion) soy/flaxseed plant based meat alternative that is braised using chinese spices, peppercorn & dried chilli. It also contains flaxseed (omega-3 fats & fibre), soy (high in protein), and is made without animal fat.

Plant-based Halal food trends extend beyond meat substitutes to dairy-free nut-based milk and cheese that cater to lactose-intolerant consumers and those seeking plant-based alternatives for ethical or dietary reasons. Gold Kili Trading Enterprise (S) Pte. Ltd. will exhibit their "Oat-k" Dairy-free Oat-based beverage series, which are Halal-certified and use plant-based oat powder instead of milk.

Halal consumers are also increasingly interested in functional foods that promote well-being. Halal-certified foods now come fortified with probiotics and antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals. This convergence of trends allows health-conscious consumers to embrace the benefits of functional foods while staying true to their dietary restrictions. One such product at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia is the Anhui Clever Mama Food Science and Technology Co. Their Clever Mama Series Classic Milk Pudding is sold in a variety of flavours that appeal to Asian children. It's a yogurt-based lactobacillus pudding made with milk powder, konjac powder, and seaweed gel.

Halal consumers are also embracing organic food products. Desly Group Co.,Ltd. will showcase their organic Halal-certified products including peanut butter, sesame seed paste, rice wine vinegar and soya sauce at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia.

Sustainability and ethical sourcing are also becoming increasingly important aspects of halal food. Consumers are demanding ingredients that are not only delicious but also environmentally friendly and ethically sourced. This aligns perfectly with the core values of halal certification.

Innovation isn't just limited to flavours and ingredients. Alternative proteins like insects, algae, and even lab-grown meat are being explored to meet dietary needs while adhering to halal standards.

Trust and Transparency

Building trust in a globalised food system can be challenging and the Halal market is embracing technology to bridge this gap. Developments in blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are used to maintain quality standards and detect the presence of porcine material or alcohol in halal laboratories.

An exciting product showcased at THAIFEX – Anuga Asia includes Genelix's Real-Time PCR Detection Kit, which accurately detects the presence or absence of animal species in food by analysing the genes of food raw materials and finished products. According to Genelix, the kit is the only vegan certification label available in Korea used by the Korea Vegan Certification Institute, and because it can check various animal species, it can also be used for HALAL certification.

Transparency is another key trend shaping the halal market. People are increasingly looking for minimally processed foods with clear labels. A desire for authenticity and knowing exactly what's in their food is driving the demand for clean labels and transparency throughout the Halal food supply chain.

Strength in Inclusivity

In conclusion, the Halal market's strength lies in its ability to be inclusive. While serving the primary needs of the vast Muslim population (estimated at 1.8 billion globally), it also extends a welcoming hand to those seeking high-quality, ethically sourced food. This opens doors for food producers to reach a diverse audience. Halal certification fosters a sense of togetherness by allowing families with Muslim members to share meals everyone can enjoy. Furthermore, the growing health-conscious vegetarian and vegan demographic finds value in the ethical sourcing and clean label principles that are hallmarks of Halal certification. This inclusivity positions the Halal market as a major player in the global food landscape.

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