Muslims and Halal Consumers follow a set of dietary guidelines called Halal. Halal is an Arabic word meaning “permissible.” It is often used for food and drink, but it can also apply to other areas of life, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, tourism, modest fashion, and banking.
What is Halal Certification?
Halal certification is the process of verifying that a Halal business and its products or services comply with Islamic law. The competent Islamic authority or Halal body usually issues the certification after reviewing products, ingredients, and raw material sourcing. They audit its processes, production premises, packaging and labeling to be sure everything is up to standard. Halal is not just about food anymore. The Halal domain has been growing rapidly and is worth an estimated $2.3 trillion globally, predicted to reach US$4.96 trillion by 2030.
Lately, there has been an elevated demand for Halal-certified products and services from the Muslim community – spanning everything from food to drugs, tourism, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and fashion. Mainly, this upward trend is because consumers are becoming more aware of their rights and responsibilities and conscious about their food.
Halal certification is also a mark of quality and safety, demonstrating that the product or service has been produced under strict Islamic standards. As a result, many businesses seek Halal certification to tap into this lucrative market. While the demand for Halal-certified foods is most prevalent in Muslim-majority countries, it is a global phenomenon that is here to stay.
How Did the Practice of Halal Certification Start?
Halal certification has existed for decades, where Muslim food and technical experts created a system to ensure Muslims could purchase products that met their religious requirements.
Halal certification didn’t necessarily start in Muslim countries. Muslims living in non-Islamic societies, such as the United States, Europe and some parts of Asia, needed a way to ensure that the products they were buying were Halal. This practical safety measure became a useful tool to guarantee that the products produced in non-Muslim countries were acceptable to the Muslim world.
With globalization came the removal of barriers between countries, and it was soon realized that no safety measure could prevent the importing country from accepting products from the other.
The Benefits of Halal Certification – for Businesses
Increased Access to Muslim and Halal Consumers
The Muslim population is anticipated to reach 2.2 billion by 2030, making up 26.4% of the world’s population. In 2016, Muslim consumers spent US$1.2 trillion on food and beverage alone. By 2022, this figure is projected to reach US$1.9 trillion. For businesses, it means that there is a large and growing market for Halal-certified products. Halal certification is, therefore, a way of tapping into this lucrative market.
Increased Credibility and Transparency
The Halal certification process is very stringent, and businesses must meet several criteria to be certified. Halal businesses that have gone through this rigorous process send a strong message to consumers that it is a credible and trustworthy source of Halal products. Consumers who see Halal logos on products are likelier to trust and buy from the brand. This increased transparency is good for businesses, as it builds consumer confidence and trust.
Improved Brand Image and Reputation
In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, businesses must differentiate themselves from their competitors. One way to do this is to get Halal certified, which can help businesses build a positive brand image and reputation among Muslim consumers. A business seen as being Muslim-friendly is more likely to win Halal consumers’ trust and loyalty, which, in turn, can lead to more sales and ROI. Halal certification can therefore be seen as a valuable marketing tool that can help businesses to stand out from the crowd.
Enhanced Product Safety and Quality
Halal certification requires businesses to adhere to strict guidelines and standards. This can help to improve the safety and quality of products and services, thus, reducing the risks of recalls and other reputation-damaging incidents.
Improved Supply Chain Management
Halal certification can help businesses streamline their supply chains and reduce the risk of cross-contamination with non-Halal products, leading to cost savings and improved efficiency.
The Benefits of Halal Certification for Consumers
Enhanced Product Quality
Halal certification bodies have strict requirements for food production, handling and labeling. Additionally, Halal-certified products are often subject to regular audits and inspections. Halal-certified products are thus of a higher quality. As a result, consumers’ trust in Halal-certified products is enhanced.
Greater Choice of Products
Halal certification provides consumers with greater product choice. It also helps to support the growth of a Halal industry that can cater to the needs of more consumers. Halal-certified products are available in many industries, including food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc.
Greater Peace of Mind
Halal certification provides Halal consumers with greater peace of mind whereby Halal-certified products align with their religious beliefs and are safe for consumption.