Rising Muslim populations in Europe have fuelled the appetite for halal reformulations and labelling. The Muslim population in the UK for example increased by around 285,000 in the review period (2011-2016). Similar spikes are to be expected in new markets, where demand for halal is ripening.
Navigating emerging halal markets that lack a harmonised halal standard will remain challenging. The UK is a prime example of this, where two major certifiers have failed to agree on specific issues. Understanding the landscape begins with aligning with the right certification body.
Indonesia will continue to be the mainstay of halal in Asia Pacific. Impressive growth in tourism from Muslim majority countries has generated interest in other Asia Pacific markets. These markets will now look to develop halal standards that accommodate this unprecedented influx of Muslim tourists. In Western Europe, halal certifications are usually most closely associated with meat categories, at times causing friction over animal welfare issues. Sidestepping this conflict are the global brand owners that are gaining certification for products within categories that are processed in a way that could be considered “naturally halal”.
For brand owners, the opportunity to reformulate and gain halal certification in Western Europe means striking the right communication balance. Technology will play an ever increasing role in achieving this balance, as Quick Response codes and digital platforms are leveraged to communicate a product’s attributes beyond regulatory requirement.