ANAHEIM, CA (March 4, 2014) — The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) will educate Natural Products Expo West attendees on halal dietary needs at the Specialty Diets Workshop on March 6, 2014.

Asma Ahad, IFANCA’s director of halal market development, will join a panel of halal industry experts in a session called “Muslim Market: Marketing Halal Values for the Emerging Multi-Cultural Shopper at the Retail Shelf.” This is Natural Products West Expo’s first education session dedicated to halal dietary needs. Other speakers in this panel include Jack Acree, executive vice president of Saffron Road Foods, and Faisal Mahmood, founder of American Muslim Consumer Consortium. Saffron Road Food products are halal certified by IFANCA.

“At 1.6 billion, halal consumers make up more than 20 percent of the world’s population and are hungry for more food, pharmaceutical and personal care options that meet their unique dietary needs,” says Asma Ahad. Ahad believes the session will help marketers and retailers understand the emerging halal category in natural products and leverage Muslim consumer markets both in the United States, as well as globally. “Recent studies show us that 87 percent of Muslims describe the religious aspects of their lifestyle as ‘very important,’” says Ahad, “and this makes understanding what makes a product halal – and what does not – all the more necessary.”

The halal education session is featured under the Expo’s Specialty Diets Workshop, a networking event for attendees looking to learn more about specialty diet shoppers and how to best serve them. The Specialty Diets Workshop has featured gluten-free market, social media engagement with customers, and plant-based values in the past and will be running in its second year.



A not-for-profit headquartered in Chicago, the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) is one of the world’s leading halal certification organizations. Featured in various media such as the Wall Street Journal, Prepared Foods, CNBC and CNN, IFANCA® has been promoting halal since 1982. IFANCA® was awarded the “Best Halal Related Service Provider Award” by the Halal Journal at the World Halal Forum 2007 and the Islamic Economy Award for Compliance and Standardization by the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES®) 2013. IFANCA® is endorsed by many countries and organizations including MUI (Indonesia), JAKIM (Malaysia), MUIS (Singapore), and GSM (United Arab Emirates), and IFANCA® halal-certified products are sold in nearly every country of the world. IFANCA’s halal certification expertise covers all food industry categories. For more information about IFANCA®, visit