IFANCA Booth at Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo 2010 in Chicago, July 17-22

IFANCA offered IFT attendees insights into their halal certification and information services from July 17th to 22nd, 2010, at the annual Institute Food Technologists Food Expo 2010, at its booth # 5101.

Interest in growing halal markets and halal certification has been expanding tremendously. “In the past 4 years, Datamonitor has noted that the number of global halal product launches has increased by 150 percent. The traffic we saw at the IFANCA booth reinforced that data,” said Maria Omar, IFANCA Media Relations Director.

Visitors to the booth included current clients, companies interested in learning more about the certification process, and organizations whose certifications were in process. “Our food technologists, Zeshan Sadek, Mujahed Khan and Dr. Masood were right there to answer technical questions. The fact that questions revolved around specific halal technical inquiries, speaks volumes on the strides IFANCA has made in promoting halal for the past 25 years in the global food industry,” said Ms. Omar. “The interest is higher than anything we have seen in the past 10 years for halal food ingredients,” said Dr. Chaudry. He estimates an 80% percent growth in halal certification of ingredients and food products since 2005 for US and global halal markets. This increase for US halal market ingredients may reflect the overall estimated $170 billion US dollar purchasing power of American-Muslims. Dr. Chaudry has estimated that the purchasing power for food items alone may well exceed $20 billion US dollars.

“An overwhelming majority of the companies on the floor that were halal-certified, or who had displayed their halal certification symbols, were IFANCA clients,” said Ms. Omar. “The display of halal-certification symbols (at the booths) signifies that the food industry understands the importance consumers give to credible third-party halal certification. It’s a development in the right direction, for the halal industry overall.”


Demand for Halal Foods Is Increasing Says Meat Trade News Daily

According to the Meat Trade News Daily, Feb. 2010 issue, in an article written by Dr. Mian Riaz, Director, Food Protein R& D Center, Texas A&M University, “demand for halal foods is increasing, not only in the U.S., Europe and Canada, but also in the Middle East, Southeast Asia,

North Africa and Australia. (The) Halal consumer market / trade is the fastest growing in the world. The global halal food market is currently valued at $635 billion per year. Besides Muslims, other segments have joined the ranks of halal consumers, as these types of foods gain worldwide recognition as being safe and hygienic. Non-Muslim consumers like them, because of their additional safety and sanitation features, making them less likely to be cross-contaminated. Therefore, there is tremendous economic opportunity for food manufacturers to meet the needs of all consumers of halal food products.”

Also according to a report, in an estimation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “there are about 1.57 billion Muslims in the world today, and they comprise 23% of the global population of 6.8 billion. Over 60% of them live in Asia, and one-fifth in the Middle East and North Africa. More than 300 million Muslims live as minority communities. In Europe, there are an estimated 38.l million Muslims, while about 1 million live in Canada, comprising 3.13 of the population. There are varying estimates of the Muslim population in the U.S., but most surveys place it at around 8 million.” The article was also published in January 2010 by Prepared Foods magazine.


World Halal Research Conference – Inspiring Innovation Through Halal Research, June 23-25, 2010

Halal sausage, halal hamburger, halal pizza, halal hot dogs, halal beef jerky, halal gyro meat. Walk into an ethnic store that sells halal meat and we’ve come to expect these products. What’s more, today, halal meat can be ordered online and delivered to your home the very next day. Not bad for a nation where 25 years ago, Muslims had to either seek out the one Muslim store in the entire state that sold halal meat or had to visit the local farmer to slaughter a goat for their dinner, themselves.

These are just a sample of the many innovations in the halal world that Dr. Mian N. Riaz, PhD., Director Food Protein R&D Center at Texas A&M University discussed at the World Halal Research Conference, this year. He shared some of his insights with Halal Digest.

“Halal innovations, in the last 8-10 years, are in the area of new ingredients, new stunning methods, new development in pharmacy products, improved marketing with new halal food products,” he says. “They extend to the latest biotechnology techniques to develop halal products, new certification methods and ultimately, with the development of the right software, will help find halal products in the market.” Some researchers, he adds, have started looking into the carbon foot print for halal food production models.

Dr. Riaz elaborated that enzymes and gelatin substitutes are some recent ingredients developed for halal food production. Several new stunning methods, and slaughtering equipment, have been adopted to facilitate halal meat slaughtering in the USA and new medicines and vaccines have been developed so as to avoid the use of porcine enzymes and ingredients.

Further, “new research points towards vegetarian beef being produced in laboratories using biotechnology. This meat is made from the cells of animals and proliferates inside of a growth chamber. Meat is eventually formed from the multiplying cells,” says Dr. Riaz. If the past decade is a yardstick, we may have a new source of meat in the coming years.

At several universities Nutrition and Food science students learn about religious food (halal) and many campus cafeterias offer halal foods. New software in cell phones and GPS’ can now guide consumers to halal grocery stores and restaurants. The food industry will eventually start looking into making halal greener. Yes, if these are its indicators, the time for halal has arrived.


IFANCA at 1st International Halal Business and Food Expo 2010, July 23-25

Dr. Muhammad M. Chaudry, President IFANCA was a speaker at the Global Halal Forum, held during the 1st International Halal Business and Food Expo, organized by Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), the Indonesian Council of Ulema, a leading halal certifying body. The expo also included, Training on Halal Assurance System and an International Meeting on Halal Standards.


Halal Food Service Growing in the West

Consider this: Quick, France’s second biggest fast-food retailer, has 362 restaurants all over the country. As of September 2010, 22 of them will offer halal-only menu’s. Yes, it’s not even ten percent of the total number of Quick restaurants but can we imagine that same percentage of McDonalds or Burger King’s going halal in the USA this year?

The Quick chain chose its 22 restaurants based on which ones oversold fish burgers (fish is naturally halal) relative to average national sales for the product. The other factors were pin-pointing outlets where pork product sales were slow, and as importantly, knowing which outlets saw a drop in business during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

The Quick decision to embrace halal is purely economic. “First and foremost, I’m an entrepreneur and a business owner. My goal is to increase sales and satisfy my clients. It’s clear I have clients that I am satisfying more since we went Halal,” said one franchisee, Eric Azan, speaking to DW-World.De. Azan has converted one of his six Quick franchises in Montreuil to a halal-only establishment. Sales doubled on average here, during the test phase. With 20 new full-time staffers, hired specifically to handle the extra business, Azan is all set to greet halal consumers with a smile.

France’s second largest supermarket chain, Casino, too has learned that it can pad its bottom line if it offers halal products. For months now, spicy ready-to-eat chicken wings, halal pate, and mock ham made from turkey have graced its shelves. Casino’s own halal product line goes by the brand name Wasilla. In fledgling efforts, some US grocery chains have recently begun carrying a limited number of halal products.

“Five and a half billion euros are going to be spent on these kinds of products this year in France,” said Abbas Bendali, the head of Solis, a market research firm specialized in ethnic niches, in an interview with DW-World.De. “There are five million potential customers. So this is more than a niche, this is a real consumer segment.”


American Muslim Consumer Conference Draws Large Numbers, Oct. 30th 2010

The second annual American Muslim Consumer Conference (AMCC) was held on Saturday, October 30st, 2010 in New Brunswick, NJ. Researchers, entrepreneurs, marketing and advertising executives from corporate America convened to discuss and explore the rapidly growing and untapped American-Muslim Consumer markets, its scope, markets, its trends, and opportunities. This conference provided American businesses and executives with useful insights, information, and opportunities on how to access and attract the American-Muslim market. IFANCA was represented by Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President, as one of the panelists.

“Muslims want to be acknowledged in mainstream media….consider advertising in a Muslim media outlet. Say Eid Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem during the holidays. The Muslim community will respond. When we see an ad we like we send it to our friends and share it with each other,” said Mohammed Abdullah, director of the event.

Entrepreneur Magazine said American Muslims have the buying power roughly equal to the state of Indiana. However, “reaching them requires an understanding of their culture, beliefs and preferences. Muslims are more interested than most Americans in seeing advertising that acknowledges them,” it says. Muslims are a neglected market with huge potential for brands who are willing to connect with them online and offline.

The average annual household income of a Muslim family in America is $75,000, and is pointing the way towards branding relevant to this consumer group. AMCC Objectives include creating awareness as to the American Muslim market, its purchasing power and understanding ways to effectively market products and services to it.

Entrepreneurs and companies who are interested in reaching the American-Muslim market as well as researchers and executives looking to learn about the American-Muslim market were in attendance. The Who’s Who list of attendees included speakers, James A. Kocsi, District Director, U. S. Small Business Administration, P. Miles Young, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Steven Pilchak, General Manager, Best Buy, and others.

Details at www.americanmuslimconsumer.com