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A Glimpse into The Global Halal Industry [2023]



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The Halal industry is much more than just food on your plate. It’s a way of life that encompasses the entire ecosystem, from food production to consumerism.  The Halal industry is a booming global market. The global Islamic economy comprises seven sectors — Islamic finance, Halal food, modest fashion, media and recreation, Muslim-friendly travel, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics.

It is estimated that the global Halal market will be increased by trillions in 2027, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today. Recent years have seen a surge in global awareness of sustainability, ethical consumption, green growth, and digitization, enabling the Halal industry to flourish worldwide.

What is Halal?

The word ‘Halal’ comes from Arabic which means “allowed” or “permissible” according to Islamic law. Therefore, every Muslim must ensure that whatever they consume comes from a Halal source—not just the ingredients but also the entire production and handling process from start to finish (Zakaria, 2008). The definition given by Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) in Trade Description Order 2011 covers products and services encompassing all the business operations like packaging, marketing, manufacturing, logistics, supply, maintaining premises, slaughtering, and so on (JAKIM, 2015).

Current Global Halal Food Market Insights and Trends

The global Halal food industry is expected to hit almost $4 trillion by 2028 as it expands at an 11.25% CAGR over the next eight years. In 2019 alone, Halal consumers spent a staggering US$1.17 trillion on Halal food — making it the second largest sector after Islamic finance.

Increasingly, customers are purchasing natural regular food and refreshment items. This trend has led to increased revenue from consumers in the utilization of Halal food products. There is a massive opportunity for Halal food manufacturers to capitalize on this growing interest by developing new products marketed in western-style supermarkets, including grocery stores and hypermarkets.

General stores and food makers in numerous nations have begun catering to Halal customers by offering more Halal refreshment products. The Halal food market is projected to experience significant growth due to the rising demand from Muslim and non-Muslim consumers. This is because of its cleanliness-related benefits, such as liberation from debasements, alcohol, and blood. 

In addition, organizations are now following Halal-based planning as it allows for both quality and taste levels, which gives an edge in commercial centers.

What Are the Factors Driving the Global Halal Industry?

Several factors are driving the global Halal industry. Let’s talk about these driving factors in detail below:

Increasing Muslim population

The Muslim population is rapidly expanding, now consisting of 2.2 billion people — almost 28.7% of the global populace! In recent years, immigration and high birth rates have contributed to this growth surge in our communities. As such, there has been an increased demand for Halal products worldwide.

Rising Demand for Certified Halal Products

Religious and ethical values also play a major role in driving the global Halal industry. Customers are increasingly seeking out products that meet their standards and expectations.  As the demand for certified Halal products has grown, manufacturers have taken steps to ensure that their products meet the required standards. This has led to the emergence of many certification bodies and Halal product labels. Consequently, this has been increasing trust in Halal products and further propelling the global development of the Halal sector.

ISA (Islamic Services of America) is a US-based Halal certification body that helps businesses go Halal in the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico. ISA’s certification process includes a rigorous review of ingredients and a regular inspection of production facilities to ensure that all products meet the highest standards of Halal compliance.

Growing Awareness of Health and Wellness

Consumer preference towards health and wellness is also driving the Halal industry. Consumers are increasingly looking for fresh, natural, organic alternatives to traditional processed and packaged foods.  Organic Halal-certified products provide an attractive substitute as they offer a wider range of benefits, like being free from chemical pesticides, preservatives, and additives. This has led to a rise in demand for certified Halal products free from harmful substances and chemicals.

In addition, the increasing demand for natural and organic meat is also driving the growth of the global Halal industry as customers seek out ethically produced animal products.

The Upsurge of Muslim-Friendly Tourism

Halal tourism is one of the world’s most lucrative and rapidly growing industries. By 2026, annual global spending from Muslim travelers will likely skyrocket to $300 billion according to a report by Mastercard and HalalTrip.

The growth of Halal tourism is due to a combination of factors, including the increasing number of Muslim tourists, changing consumer preferences, and ethical considerations.

Moreover, the increasing demand for luxury holidays among affluent Muslim travelers is driving up the opportunities for Halal-friendly hotels and resorts from the Middle East to Japan, Thailand, South Korea and other countries and regions. These establishments offer special amenities and services tailored for Muslim travelers, such as Halal food options, push shower in toilets, and prayer facilities.

Diversification Of the Global Halal Supply Chain

The global Halal industry also benefits from expanding the global Halal supply chain. Companies are now more capable of sourcing Halal certified ingredients and materials from international markets, allowing them to provide consumers with a wider range of Halal finished products. In addition, the rise of digital e-commerce platforms has made it even easier for buyers to access products from anywhere in the world.

The Domination of Food-Tech Within the Halal Industry

The Halal industry has undergone significant transformations due to the emergence of digital technology, with AI and automation radically altering various aspects. This shift has enabled companies to innovate faster, develop products more efficiently, and scale their businesses more quickly. This increased digitization is transforming the global Halal industry, with Food-tech startups tapping into this growing market.

For example, Halal food-related platforms and apps are rapidly gaining popularity due to the ease of ordering Halal-certified products. With the rapid growth of grocery e-commerce, there is a plethora of opportunities for businesses operating within the Halal sector, from Halal cloud kitchens to ghost kitchens.

Rise of Transparency and Sustainability

Customers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases. They are increasingly demanding ethically produced products with a minimal environmental footprint.

As a result, businesses have been investing in transparent supply chains to ensure the traceability of their products, from farm to fork. This has enabled businesses to monitor their production process better and ensure the quality of their products.

Food safety Concerns Are Fueling the Growth of the Halal Industry

Food safety concerns are further fueling the consumer demand for more transparency in the Halal food chain. Companies are looking for ways to address this concern, and blockchain technology is a promising solution.

Halal certification is an important part of global trade. However, it often lacks transparency in who certifies what and where products come from. Unless the Halal certifying body is authentic and can be verified, such as ISA, there is little assurance that the product is actually Halal.

Thanks to blockchain technology, companies can now ensure the traceability of their Halal products through the entire supply chain. This helps businesses meet customer demands for more transparency and makes it easier for them to prove authenticity and compliance with Halal standards.

Blockchain technology is now seen as a promising solution for Halal food traceability and sustainability by Halal industry players.

Blockchain technology, also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), is a decentralized database that records transactions. It has been used to track food from the farm to store shelves and even in production.

To achieve sustainability and food traceability, Halal industry stakeholders are exploring blockchain technology as a viable solution. They can monitor the origin of their products, document how they were processed, and keep tabs on each ingredient used.

This method could help prevent food fraud or contamination at any stage of the supply chain—from farmers growing crops on land to factories processing meat or other ingredients.

Recently, OneAgrix, a B2B faith-based and quality foods trade ecosystem and digital platform, and its eight partners, unveiled the world’s pioneering and comprehensive farm-to-fork solution that traces beef from DNA to QR code. This revolutionary breakthrough will have significant implications for food supply chain traceability.

The Future of Halal Supply Chains

In the next few years, the global Halal industry will continue to evolve as it learns to meet the needs of consumers and businesses. Thus, there will be an increased focus on transparency and traceability within supply chains.

The Halal supply chain has already become more transparent in recent years through initiatives such as LCA (life cycle assessment). The LCA measures environmental impact throughout each production stage, from raw material extraction through processing and manufacturing into final products.

In addition, we see more efforts towards sustainability by ensuring that carbon footprints and animal health are maintained throughout the production process. More companies now recognize the potential of Halal certification as an international quality assurance standard.

Blockchain technology also plays a major role in helping the Halal industry reach new levels of transparency and trustworthiness, ensuring that customers have access to high-quality food products that comply with Halal standards. The potential for blockchain technology to revolutionize food systems is immense, and its impact on the Halal industry will be felt in the years to come.

Halal is a way of life. It’s about ensuring our consumables and non-consumables are safe, secure, and ethical. Halal food looks and tastes great, but it also keeps us healthy. The expansion of the global Islamic economy provides jobs for millions of people worldwide who directly or indirectly work in the Halal industry. With more than 2 billion Muslims living on Earth today, this trend shows no sign of slowing down—and we can all be part of it!

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Islamic Economy is the Last Great Untapped Market




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By Alicia Buller

Halal regulation schemes can attract more investment, stimulate trade and boost industry

Muslims account for 26 percent of the global population – about 2.2 billion people – and the colossal potential of the Islamic economy is ripe for the picking. This growing and increasingly well-heeled demographic spent around $2 trillion on halal products in 2021, according to the latest State of the Islamic Economy report. The industry has evolved beyond Islamic finance to include convenience food, pharmaceuticals, tourism, media, clothing, cosmetics and more.

In the West, second and third-generation Muslims are seeking faith-aligned products that chime with modern consumer lifestyles – such as Islamic Deliveroo, halal ice-cream, tech-assisted smart hijabs and even Muslim Barbie dolls. And like the rest of the world, Muslims are becoming increasingly globally connected, tech-savvy and label-conscious.

Muslims want brands they love. For too long, the Islamic consumer has been subjected to poorly-executed branding or crudely stereotyped marketing. Unequivocally, the modern Muslim presents an opportunity for savvy marketers and investors. But despite the impressive top-level numbers, some industry teething challenges persist.

Certification confusion

In its simplest terms, halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible” or “lawful”. This generally means pork-free, alcohol-free, gambling-free and interest-free. Halal meat must be slaughtered by specific methods. As with all modern certification methods, guaranteeing practices and provenance along the supply chain can prove challenging.

Smart countries know that halal regulation schemes can attract more investment, stimulate trade and boost industry. As such, a handful of nations have historically jostled for rubber-stamping supremacy in the last two decades. For all its solid business credentials, the halal sector often comes up against regulatory bottlenecks. The hand-wringing and disagreement of the various regional and global certification bodies has historically bred a culture of inertia.

This is one area where the global halal economy must look to evolve as it grows into a more robust industry. Smart blockchain and AI may have a role to play here. Nevertheless, Malaysia, with its large Muslim population, has long reigned as the global doyen of halal. The Asian nation is home to a highly developed Islamic finance sector and is seen as one of the bellwethers of worldwide halal accreditation standards.

Malaysia has been named the top global halal economy for the ninth consecutive year by the Global Islamic Economy Indicator 2022, followed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Indonesia. New entrants to the top 15 include the UK and Kazakhstan. Turkey and Singapore moved up to reach the fifth and seventh positions, respectively.

Shaky starts

Around a decade ago, Dubai had designs on becoming the world’s halal hub. The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) was established to transform the emirate into the “capital of Islamic economy”. There was much hullabaloo surrounding the opening of what was pitched as a game-changing all-in-one hub.

But today, there is little talk of DIEDC. As one pundit tells me, “The Muslim economy is growing but it’s still fragmented. They didn’t have the time to wait. It requires enormous investment.”  But where there has been a lull in Dubai’s halal push, Saudi Arabia has stepped in. The kingdom is undergoing rapid social and economic transformation and is witnessing a boom in the halal economy.

In October 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund announced the launch of Halal Products Development Company. The new body will invest in localising production and increasing efficiency, including plans to certify and export to global markets.

Strong backing needed

As the halal sector expands, it will require government funding and vision for optimal, exponential growth. Robust and patient policies must be drawn up to underpin startup finance, investment mobilization and regulatory clout. In a sea of conflicting regulatory bodies, competing nations, and mixed messaging, halal startups and businesses must negotiate a fragmented market. Greater collaboration is needed, not only among businesses, but also between trade bodies and governments.

Moreover, education and awareness of the sector’s value – whether funded by governments or trade bodies – need to be conveyed to investors, venture capitalists and buyers. Make no mistake, the Nikes and the Nestlés of the world have caught on to the size of the halal market. They have been bringing out limited add-on ranges and designs aimed at Muslims in the last few years – with varying success.

But while global conglomerates can afford to invest in niche loss-makers as the sector finds its feet, that is not the case for the world’s many Islamic fashion designers, entrepreneurs, and boutique startups. With support, homegrown SMEs will seize the opportunity to inject the halal economy with the dynamism, depth, innovation and choice it needs.

Perhaps a true measure of the Islamic economy’s success will be seen in the arrival of the Muslim world’s first globally recognized brand – a halal Nike or Kellogg’s. And in the meantime can we do away with the sub-par branding as soon as possible?

Alicia Buller is Opinion Editor at AGBI. This article was originally published at

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IFHAB’s Drive to Standardize Halal Accreditation Boosts Global Economic Opportunities




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The Islamic Forum for Halal Accreditation Bodies (IFHAB) has taken significant strides in establishing a transparent and standardized system for halal products and services. This initiative, grounded in Sharia principles and technical prerequisites, is in sync with global practices. The forum’s efforts are particularly evident in member nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where they’ve been instrumental in integrating with the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC). This collaboration aims to perpetually refine IFHAB’s operations by analyzing best practices across member states and relevant committees.

IFHAB’s mission is multifaceted. Beyond ensuring representation from diverse stakeholders like accreditation bodies, legislators, and consumers, the forum is keen on unlocking new economic avenues. These opportunities, ranging from enhancing international trade to creating specialized job roles, are pivotal in an era where innovation and knowledge development are paramount.

A landmark decision was made during the 21st meeting of the SMIIC Board of Directors on June 1st, 2021. The board greenlit the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Halal Quality Global Infrastructure (OHAQ) through resolution number (03/2021). This unanimous decision was further bolstered by the board’s directive to the General Secretariat to present the approved “Global Halal Quality Infrastructure of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation” to the OIC General Secretariat for subsequent endorsement.

The OIC’s 49th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, in March 2023, was another pivotal moment. During this session, the OIC conferred the status of an OIC Affiliated institution upon IFHAB. This recognition is a testament to the OIC’s commitment to fostering mutual respect, cooperation, and socio-economic development among its member states.

The Halal industry’s significance cannot be overstated. Beyond religious adherence, Halal products and services are synonymous with quality, leading to their widespread acceptance even outside the Muslim community. Recognizing this, IFHAB is dedicated to creating a transparent system for Halal products and services that align with Sharia regulations, technical requirements, and international best practices.

IFHAB’s objectives are clear and ambitious:

  • Trust & Credibility: Ensuring products and services bearing the Halal logo are trusted and credible in both local and global markets.
  • Standardization: Developing global Halal requirements, unifying accreditation procedures, and linking them to the international system.
  • Economic Growth: Facilitating international recognition of accredited Halal certificates and fostering cooperation with regional and international forums.
  • Capacity Building: Providing specialized training, forming a broad base of expert evaluators, and enhancing the skills of OIC member countries in Halal certification.

The economic potential of the Halal industry is immense. As per the Global Islamic Economy Report 2019/2020, the global Muslim consumer base stands at 1.8 billion. In 2018, their expenditure on Halal food, pharmaceuticals, and Sharia-compliant lifestyle products was a staggering $2.2 trillion. With an annual growth rate of 5.2%, this figure is projected to touch $3.2 trillion by 2024.

In conclusion, IFHAB’s role is not just pivotal but also timely. As the Halal industry continues to grow, forums like IFHAB will be instrumental in ensuring that the sector remains standardized, transparent, and economically beneficial for all stakeholders involved.

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The Role of Technology in the Production and Distribution of Halal Food




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As the global Muslim population continues to grow, estimated to reach 2.8 billion by 2050, the demand for Halal food products has never been higher. Halal food companies have harnessed innovative solutions to keep up with this expanding market to enhance production, preserve quality, and streamline distribution.

Technology has emerged as a game-changer in this fast-paced era, empowering companies to meet customer needs efficiently and effectively. Join us as we explore how technology revolutionizes the global Halal food industry.

A Smarter Approach to Slaughterhouses

One of the most important advancements in the Halal food industry is the automation of slaughterhouses. Companies use technology to ensure that animals are handled as per strict Halal requirements. 

For instance, precise cutting and efficient blood draining are now achieved through automated systems, while sensors monitor and maintain blade sharpness. This ensures compliance with Halal standards and improves overall efficiency and productivity.

Quality Control in the Digital Age

Technology plays a pivotal role in maintaining the quality of Halal products. Automation has enabled consistent and accurate quality control checks, such as visual inspections, weight measurements, and temperature monitoring. By leveraging technology, companies can identify and rectify issues more effectively, ensuring that the final product meets the highest Halal standards.

Tracking and Traceability: A Transparent Supply Chain

Transparency is crucial for consumer confidence in the Halal food industry. Automated systems have made it possible to track products from farm to table, providing a clear and transparent record of the entire supply chain. This increased visibility allows companies to ensure that Halal standards are consistently maintained and fosters consumer trust in the products they consume.

Keeping It Clean with Automation

Maintaining cleanliness is paramount in Halal food production, and technology has made it easier than ever to achieve this. Automated cleaning systems now ensure that facilities are kept at the highest level of cleanliness, in line with Halal requirements.

Regular cleaning and sanitization of equipment, surfaces, and storage areas are now carried out more efficiently, reducing the risk of contamination and maintaining overall quality.

Speedy and Accurate Packaging and Labeling

Automated packaging systems have revolutionized how Halal products are sealed, labeled, and protected from contamination. These systems help prevent mislabeling or packaging errors, ensuring customers receive accurate product information. Moreover, automation enables faster, more efficient packaging processes, allowing companies to meet the ever-growing demand for Halal products.

Embracing Digital Distribution and Traceable Trade

The rise of e-commerce and digital platforms has made Halal food distribution more accessible. Online marketplaces now cater specifically to Halal consumers, providing them with a wide array of products from around the globe. This has allowed companies to expand their reach and tap into new markets, driving growth in the Halal industry. To further enhance this experience, traceable trade systems are being integrated, allowing consumers to verify the authenticity and origin of the products they purchase. Companies can also use data analysis and reporting tools to monitor consumer trends, optimize their product offerings, and identify new markets for expansion.

With the global Halal food market expected to reach a staggering USD 2.55 trillion by 2024, online sales of Halal food products are projected to grow at an impressive CAGR of 14.6%. This underscores the importance of technology in shaping the future of the Halal food industry.


Technology has played a transformative role in the production and distribution of Halal food. From slaughterhouse automation to embracing digital distribution through traceable trade, the industry has adopted innovative solutions to meet growing demand and maintain the highest quality standards. As technology evolves, we can expect even more exciting developments in the Halal food industry.

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