Halal food industry worth $1.2 trillion, but more entrepreneurs needed

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Private equity, Islam

© iStock
© iStock
The Islamic economy continues to evolve and is no longer considered a niche segment, according to a new report that estimates it to be worth US$1.9tr.

In its latest annual analysis of the overall halal business, Thomson Reuters found that the majority of the 172 industry leaders surveyed reported strong confidence in the segment, with seven in ten admitting satisfaction at its performance and 86% expressing optimism for their businesses in the future.

And among the nearly half-million millennial consumers surveyed using social media data analysis, 76% offered positive sentiments. 

Out of a near US$2tr global Islamic economy, food and beverage topped Muslim spending by category, at US$1.2tr, last year, followed by clothing, recreation and travel. The report goes on to predict that Muslims will spend US$1.9tr on food and beverages by 2021.

It also estimates that worldwide revenue generated by halal-certified food and beverage companies stood at US$415bn last year.

Halal food has shown clear signs of maturity with increased private equity investments in the sector. Upgrades to certification have also been taking place, with the introduction of accreditation to oversee certifiers that has been designed to reduce complexity and encourage more players to enter the halal food industry.

The Islamic economy continues to mature, growing more complex and more stable each passing year. The sector is proving itself to be one of the most viable solutions to the stagnation that is plaguing global markets​,” said Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. 

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, chief executive of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said the survey’s findings further strengthened his conviction in Islamic economy’s ethical and regulatory framework and its ability to drive global economic growth.

A core challenge for the Islamic economy is the need to motivate more Muslims across the globe, especially the youth, to participate in developing this ecosystem and play an integral role in the production process​. 

“In doing so, Muslims can transform from being the largest consumer base in the world to a sizeable production base capable of achieving a more sustainable future,” Al Awar added.

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