Organic. Local. Halal? The Modern Consumer’s Ethical Trifecta: Shelina Janmohamed from Ogilvy Noor Sheds Light on Why Brands Must Take Note.
In an era where food sources and ethical considerations are increasingly under the microscope, consumers, including the Muslim populace, are becoming highly discerning about their dietary choices. In her insightful latest column, Shelina Janmohamed, a prominent voice from Ogilvy Noor, elucidates the importance for brands to be attuned to these considerations.
For brands aiming to genuinely engage with Muslim consumers, comprehending the nuances of the term ‘halal’ is indispensable.
In everyday vernacular, ‘halal’ predominantly refers to meat derived from animals that have been slaughtered following Islamic tenets. This practice bears a striking resemblance, albeit not the same, to the kosher guidelines in Jewish traditions.
However, brands must recognize that ‘halal’ transcends just the slaughter method. It’s an all-encompassing term that embodies a spectrum of ethical considerations and quality in food production and consumption, which are deeply rooted in Islamic values.
As consumers, in general, gravitate towards more ethically sourced and sustainably produced food, the intersection of organic, local, and halal represents an important convergence. Brands that effectively navigate and align themselves with these values stand to forge stronger bonds with the Muslim consumer base, which is burgeoning globally.
By acknowledging and embracing these values, brands not only tap into a rapidly growing market segment but also position themselves as socially responsible and culturally cognizant entities.
How Ethical Consumption Drives Muslim Spending Habits
In the increasingly globalized marketplace, consumer awareness about product origins and ethical consumption is reshaping how companies cater to their audience. One prominent, burgeoning consumer segment, the Muslim market, with its emphasis on halal – meaning “permitted” – is a driving force behind this shift. The antonym, haram, signifies “forbidden”.
In Islamic doctrine, halal extends beyond merely religious compliance. The Quran paints a broader stroke defining halal as synonymous with “goodness and wholesomeness.” The concept signifies that a product, from its inception to consumption, should epitomize purity, compassion for animals, environmental sustainability, and ethical practices throughout its lifecycle.
Contemporary mass production, often characterized by mechanization and detachment from traditional agriculture, has triggered a global resurgence in demand for ethical and organic goods. Muslim consumers, akin to their counterparts, are attributing greater significance to the ethical attributes of products, deeming them an extension of the halal criteria.
Given the scope of products potentially under the halal purview, this piece will primarily focus on the food sector.
Our rationale is supported by a study probing Muslim perceptions regarding the compliance of notable brands with Shariah. Brands associated with food and beverages were predominantly viewed as Shariah-friendly.
The spiritual life in Islam is believed to be intrinsically linked to physical intake. This connection fortifies the resolve of Muslim consumers in ensuring that their consumption is in strict adherence to halal principles.
Coupled with an estimated annual worth of approximately $500 billion, the halal market is poised for expansion. Savvy businesses and investors should take cognizance of this and integrate it into their growth strategies.
For companies to truly capitalize on this, understanding the tapestry of halal, which is woven with threads of ethics, purity, and sustainability, is indispensable.
As consumer sentiment evolves, brands that successfully resonate with the holistic interpretation of halal are likely to gain a competitive edge in this lucrative market.
In an era where corporate social responsibility is more than just a buzzword, aligning with the values of the burgeoning Muslim consumer base could be the linchpin for sustainable growth and brand loyalty.
Navigating the Halal Certification Maze: A Guide for Global Brands Seeking Halal Accreditation
In a world where consumer preferences are more eclectic than ever, the halal food market has taken center stage for many global brands. However, obtaining the revered ‘Certified Halal’ stamp is no cakewalk. Unlike other certifications, halal doesn’t have a global standard; rather, various local boards are sprouting up across different countries.
For businesses contemplating a foray into this market, identifying the pertinent certification bodies relative to their target Muslim consumer base is imperative.
Moreover, for products that are inherently vegetarian and devoid of alcohol, it’s prudent to prominently exhibit these traits on the packaging. The Chicago Tribune in one of its pieces underscored the burgeoning “farm-to-fork” consciousness among Muslims. They highlighted that a growing number of Muslims are not merely content with the halal tag, but are actively seeking organic, free-range, and “tayyib” (Arabic for wholesome) products. The focus has shifted from just the slaughtering method to a more encompassing view which includes how the animal was raised.
This paradigm shift is congruent with the broader consumer awareness, which has been tilting towards ethical and organic food consumption. Innova, a Dutch market research firm, pinpointed purity, authenticity, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility as among the 10 defining food trends of 2012.
Interestingly, these trends reflect a significant overlap with the core tenets of halal, which espouse wholesomeness, goodness, and purity.
As global brands compete for a share of the halal market, it is critical to recognize that halal certification is a nuanced process that may vary from one jurisdiction to another. Additionally, as consumer trends evolve, brands must be agile in embracing a broader understanding of halal, which extends beyond religious compliance to include sustainability and ethical considerations.
Brands that can adeptly navigate the halal certification landscape while aligning their products with the multifaceted values of the contemporary Muslim consumer are poised to make significant inroads in this lucrative market.
The Confluence of Halal and Organic Markets Offers New Avenues for Marketers
As the consumer landscape evolves, marketers who are eyeing the lucrative Muslim demographic, especially in developed markets, should take note of a rising trend: the intersection of the halal and organic/ethical markets.
Whole Earth Meats, a U.S.-based company, exemplifies how brands can capitalize on this overlap. The company offers halal-certified and organic meat products, marketing its burgers on the twin pillars of tradition and wholesomeness. These values resonate deeply with Muslim consumers, and the company astutely bolsters this connection by emphasizing its halal credentials.
Interestingly, this appeal is not limited to Muslim consumers. A segment of the broader market is displaying a preference for halal (and kosher) products, citing the meticulous care and cleanliness involved in their preparation as the differentiating factors.
Halfway across the globe in the Ningxia region of China, known for its substantial Muslim population, an intriguing development is unfolding. A Malaysian enterprise, Fahim, is poised to launch a Halal Integrity Management solution. This cutting-edge initiative aims to provide comprehensive monitoring of halal status through every stage, from farm to fork – an innovative leap that holds immense promise for Muslim consumers.
The Chairman of Fahim’s parent company elaborated on the potential crossover appeal in the region. He stated, “Our target is not only the Muslims but also the non-Muslims. I was told by some Chinese people that they preferred halal food products to allay food safety concerns as halal in Chinese means pure and good.”
This is a clarion call for businesses and brands across the globe. The halal market, with its intrinsic values of purity and ethical sourcing, has a universal allure that extends beyond religious lines.
The takeaway for marketers is clear: embracing halal compliance and communicating this effectively can open doors to a broader consumer base, including the Muslim market, which is both vast and diverse.
Marketers who seize this opportunity, and nimbly integrate the values of purity, ethics, and halal into their branding, stand to gain a significant competitive edge in an increasingly discerning global marketplace.