The global halal industry is estimated to be worth around USD2.3 trillion (excluding Islamic finance). Growing at an estimated annual rate of 20%, the industry is valued at about USD560 billion a year. Thus, making it one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world. The global halal market of 1.8 billion Muslims is no longer confined to food and food related products.

The halal industry has now expanded beyond the food sector to include pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, health products, toiletries and medical devices as well as service sector components such as logistics, marketing, print and electronic media, packaging, branding, and financing. In recent years, with the increase in the number of affluent Muslims, the halal industry has expanded further into lifestyle offerings including halal travel and hospitality services as well as fashion.

This development has been triggered by the change in the mind set of Muslim consumers as well as ethical consumer trends worldwide. The halal market is non-exclusive to Muslims, and has gained increasing acceptance among nonMuslim consumers who associate halal with ethical consumerism. As such, the values promoted by halal - social responsibility, stewardship of the earth, economic and social justice, animal welfare and ethical investment - have gatheredinterest beyond its religious compliance.

The popularity of, and demand for, halalcertified products among non-Muslim consumers have been on the rise as more consumers are looking for high quality, safe and ethical products. No longer a mere religious obligation or observance for Muslims, halal (which means “lawful” or “allowable”) has become a powerful market force, becoming increasingly a world-wide market phenomenon for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The appendage of “Halal” to a product is not just a guarantee that the product is permitted for Muslims, but it has also become a global symbol for quality assurance and lifestyle choice.1 This is evident by the participation and involvement of nonMuslim countries and organisations where halal is fast emerging as the standard of choice. Many Western countries have recognised the emerging global trend in consumerism towards halal products and services, and are now racing to gain a footing in the halal industry.

In lieu of the paradigm shift on global issues such as sustainability, environmental protection, and animal welfare, the potential growth of the halal industry has made it a lucrative market to be tapped into and presenting a major global opportunity. Players from every sector of the industry, from the huge multinationals down to small enterprises, are looking to capture their share of this growing market.

In the last decade, the halal industry has undergone further evolution as a market force when governments have started to look at halal in terms of policy formation for developing their own economies.

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