Growing Halal food industry fend off myths to become big business

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Halal food, Food

Demand from Muslim millennials has fuelled the growth of a Halal food market in Europe keen to address negative perceptions and tap into affluent communities eager to spend the “Muslim pound”.

Food manufacturers and supermarkets have noted the rise of Halal as well as the demographic of the typical consumer that blends faith and consumerism.

Demand for Halal food has been met by the mainstream particular in the UK, where Tesco introduced an in-store Halal-meat counter to its offerings back in 2010.

Other supermarkets have followed suit with Sainsbury’s and the Co-Op now make available its own range of Halal meat products.

The retail giants are competing with a number of start-ups and more established brands that include London-based Haloodies, ieat and Welsh-based family firm Lewis Pies.

Halal Dining Club

Interest in dining out at restaurants serving halal food is also creating initiatives such as the Halal Dining Club as well as the popular food blog Halal Girl About Town.

As Halal food makes inroads towards the mainstream, inevitable challenges will arise, not least by media coverage that paints the picture of halal meat preparation being cruel.

The issue of Halal accreditation continues to dent brand credibility with critics highlighting a market awash with low priced halal food from certified sources.

Nevertheless, Halal’s parallels to other food movements that count traceability, sustainability and ‘free from’ among its benefits continue to find a following that demand accountability in the wake of recent food scandals.

It remains to be seen what the mainstream think of this food and more interestingly, how brands are positioned to capture a maturing market that asks for faith and modern life in all aspects of their life, including food.

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