The increasing regional and global importance of the Halal food market will be highlighted at this year’s Gulfood, one of the world’s most important food, drink, foodservice and hospitality equipment exhibitions.
With Muslims making up around 1.79 billion of the world’s population, the rapid expansion in the Halal food sector has become a key area of opportunity across the industry, according to senior executives from the World Halal Forum (WHF).
The current estimated value of the total Halal market is USD150 billion, but this has the potential to rise to USD 500 billion by 2010, driven by the increasing value and diversity of the consumer market, combined with strong demographic trends, according to global group HighBeam Research.
“The profile of exhibitors at Gulfood has always offered a strong insight into trends in the food industries and the hospitality and service sectors that support them. As the number of companies attending the event looking to establish their profile in the Halal food area continues to increase, it further demonstrates the strength and potential of the market,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai Word Trade Centre, organiser of Gulfood.
Commercially, the Islamic consumer market is the fastest-growing in the world. Europe’s Muslim population has grown by more than 140% over the past decade to reach 25 million, while Australia has grown by a significant 250% in the same period.
Once Asia’s Muslim population of over one billion – including the world’s fast-growing populations of India, China and Pakistan – is factored in, the full potential of the Halal food market becomes apparent.
In response to the global interest in the Halal food market, Gulfood will be hosting a Halal Industry Dialogue this year. The Halal Industry Dialogue, organised by The Halal Journal and sponsored by Al Islami, will explore and examine the opportunities available within the international Halal market.
“The Halal marketplace is emerging as one of the most lucrative and influential arenas in the world today, particularly as Muslim nations reach the stage of development required to shape global markets, both as producers and consumers,” said Salama Evans, organiser of the Halal Industry Dialogue.
Opportunities abound within and beyond traditional Muslim countries – the UK Halal market alone is currently a USD 4 billion market, with strong demand for specialised and healthy Halal food.
These factors are driving an increasing diversity of companies and countries to incorporate Islamic food standards, endorsed by a Halal authority, into the manufacture and preparation of food products.
Major food producing nations like Malaysia, Brazil and Turkey are striving to ensure that Halal standards are introduced into every link of the food chain. In addition, the majority of the world’s meat producing countries – including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, UK and USA – are incorporating Halal slaughter techniques across their operations.
Commenting on the strong growth of the Halal market, “It is definitely the case that the global opportunities for specialists in Halal food and food preparation are increasing, as higher numbers of consumers and hotels look for Halal alternatives,” said Gustavo Khalil, President, The HALAL Catering Argentina, a Latin American specialist company which will be exhibiting at Gulfood 2007 this February.