How Halal Food and Lifestyle Became Big Business

When hearing the word “halal”, most people tend to think of Sharia-compliant foodstuffs. But term is a lot more flexible that - meaning “permissible” or “lawful” in Arabic, halal extends to cosmetics, clothing, medicines, banking and even tourism. And in this age of consumerism, it's practically a lifestyle. With greater halal investment opportunities driven by increasing demand from a growing Muslim population and healthier consumption, halal food and lifestyle has only just begun its journey towards a peak.


According to the Global Islamic Economy Report (2016/17), the international halal market is expected to reach a value of $3.7 trillion by 2019, with food contributing $1.9 trillion to the total share. What’s surprising is that halal food is projected to outstrip the global fast food market, which is estimated to reach $0.6 billion by 2019 - less than half the expected value of the halal food market.


Given these numbers, it wouldn’t be a longshot to say that halal is shaping up to be an industry powerhouse. However, even this revelation comes as a shock when taking into account the strict industry standards and regulations that accompany halal production. If halal isn’t all that easy to produce, then why are businesses still willing to go the extra mile? The answer might lie with the newer generations.


Expansive consumer culture coupled with smart tech and modern living which have made consuming so much easier are two sides of the same coin. Simply put, greater disposable income in the hands of Muslim millennials (growing both in numbers and influence) is allowing these newer generations the opportunity to live modern lives yet still in compliance with their faith. Hence one sees a rising trend for halal cosmetics, alcohol-free “mocktails”, and fast food, which would otherwise be indistinguishable from standard branded products save a halal tag on them.


But it’d be unfair to point towards the modern Muslim as the sole impetus behind the growing halal industry. Younger Western consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their diets, opting to go for more healthier and natural, or organic, ingredients and alternatives. In many ways, these very foodies equate organic with halal standards owing to the strict checks and processes involved in the latter, and are therefore opting to eat halal regardless of their religious affiliations.


And the market has responded: non-Muslim businesses are now diversifying their products to include a halal range as per industry halal standard, pulling out the stops in getting seals of approval from recognised halal certifiers and Muslim communities. Meanwhile, technology too is opening up new avenues for consuming more and more halal. Food apps such as Haloodie let its users locate their nearest halal eateries. Moreover, cosmetic stores are now being outfitted with mixers that let customers blend their own ingredients to make custom cosmetics - halal ingredients are also more often than not included in that selection.


The numbers seem to be speaking for themselves - halal is shaping up to be a global giant in the few short years to come. And the impact it has on the way the coming generations are choosing to live bodes well for both consumers and the businesses catering to them.


If you’re on the lookout for a quick bite or want to dine in on halal, then just go Haloodie! Locate your nearest halal food joint with a simple tap on your smartphone screen and take your pick of a wide range of restaurants offering an equally wide range of cuisines. Download the app today!