Bakers Journal

Exploring halal markets

April 13, 2012
By Ehsan Sairally

There has never been a better time to explore the expanding ethnic food
market, where you may find new opportunities in a time of global
economic uncertainty.

There has never been a better time to explore the expanding ethnic food market, where you may find new opportunities in a time of global economic uncertainty. However, proper positioning of the halal foods in that market is very important.

Cater to the rapidly growing halal market by ensuring your raw materials (butter, sugar, eggs and cream, for example) are halal-compliant.   


Halal embraces all food categories, not just meat. For this reason, bakery products can meet the challenge and opportunities of the halal segment of the market.
Halal is an Arabic word from the Qu’ran. Halal means “allowed or permissible.”


Halal food can satisfy the dietary requirements of Muslims and non-Muslims.

The key criterion regarding any halal food is that it must exclude pork and pork byproducts. It must also exclude alcohol and its derivatives.

Bakery products can satisfy halal criteria and access the halal food market with minimum investment and adjustment. Let’s take a quick look at some of the main bakery products that halal consumers purchase. They include: bread, pastries, cakes, cookies and other subcategories of pastry products. Raw materials that are used in the baking process must also be halal compliant, for example, butter, sugar, cream, flavouring, preservatives and additives.

Consumers in general are increasingly looking for variety and adequate selection.

Healthy and wholesome foods are on the rise. Today’s consumers are not only interested in what they eat but they are also interested in how their food is made and what’s in it.

They want foods made of healthy and wholesome ingredients. Therefore, halal bakery products can readily satisfy consumers demand for quality food made from wholesome ingredients.

The halal market is a rapidly growing market worldwide; just take a look at the figures:

  • Halal world demographics: $1.6 billion consumers
  • Halal world market value: $2.3 trillion
  • Halal North American market value: $180 billion
  • More than 10 per cent of the GTA are halal consumers
  • Fertility rates are the highest in the Muslim population
  • According to JWT study in the U.S. conducted in April 2007, Halal purchasing power: 170 billion

These are some of the benefits of creating halal certified bakery products:

  • Positive consumer perception
  • Value added
  • Extend your market
  • Consumer acceptability
  • Resilient market that’s1,400 years old
  • New opportunities

Packaging is becoming increasingly important in order to attract to new customers as well as retain existing ones. The following business sectors could greatly benefit with the right approach and long-term marketing strategy. The sectors would include the following: airlines, tourism, hotel/restaurant, food service, catering, humanitarian aid, retail/wholesale, processing/production, special events and primary agriculture.

The companies who position themselves to serve the halal food market are the ones to reap the benefits from extending their market reach.

Ehsan Sairally is with Halal Product Development Services (HPDS), a Canadian halal certification company that can serves halal audit and certification requests. Visit or contact Ehsan at 416-568-1885 for more information.

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