Are plant-based and vegan movements a fad or a sign of something far more promising for the global halal market? A recent market report on the forecast for the global plant-based food and beverage market for 2021–2028 reported and expected a compound annual growth rate of 9.29% over the next six years.
In 2020, North America held the largest share of the pie, but markets could see a drastic shift in the next couple of years, as the plant-based market in the Asia Pacific is projected to experience a 200% surge by 2025.
“The plant-based trend offers opportunities for Halal brands to flourish as the Islamic values and Sharia laws that govern Halal-certified products correspond with key aspects of the vegan consumer market. These include quality and hygiene standards, environment-friendly and cruelty-free practices, as well as ethically sourced materials.
Islamic values have a universal appeal making many halal products and services equally attractive to non-Muslim consumers, particularly in light of current global consumer concerns about food safety brought on by COVID-19,” observed by MATRADE Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz. “
“MATRADE envisages for more Malaysian Halal certified companies to take the advantage of technology and innovation to venture into the such segment to tap into this rising trend,” Mustafa added.
This growing demand was also noted by the homegrown Malaysian conglomerate and leading producer of coconut-based products, LINACO Group when participating in Food and Beverage (F&B) exhibitions in New York two years ago. According to LINACO, while other dietary options were driven by health complications, for the most part, veganism stood out as a conscious lifestyle choice that took into consideration both personal health and an entire ecosystem, including the environment.
Asia has already seen steady growth in the plant-based market; in 2019 it was worth US$15.3 billion. The figure saw a significant surge when COVID-19 struck, as more people in Asia turned towards a plant-based diet due to concerns over food safety. As a result, it was projected that the market value in the region would be worth US$17.1 billion in 2020, an 11.6% increase from the previous year, according to the online research platform, GMO Research.
For the LINACO Group, upholding the Halal certification for its products involves maintaining optimal conditions at its facilities which instills a stronger sense of discipline and diligence into the company. Going beyond fulfilling the certification requirements, the group is also committed to a zero-waste philosophy.
Citing its coconut products as an example, LINACO shares that every part of the coconut is optimized by producing various by-products such as crude coconut oil from the distilling process activated charcoal from coconut shells, as well as heat and steam from its incinerator as an alternative energy source to generate their facilities.
In addition to appealing to halal buyers and consumers, LINACO’s sustainable practices and plant-based offerings which include coconut milk and virgin coconut oil are products commonly favored as alternatives by vegan consumers in the larger market. This showcases the multi-prong opportunities Malaysian halal-certified brands bring to the table.
The global halal market will soon converge at the largest halal exhibition; the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) from 9 to 12 September 2021. This year MIHAS is designed as a versatile hybrid showcase with digital capabilities to bring patrons, investors, and trade partners the best of both worlds while facilitating high-value Halal trade.
The largest group of participating exhibitors at MIHAS continues to be the food and beverage segment. Apart from traditional ready-to-eat products, opportunities are rising for Malaysian brands to be part of the global halal supply chain in various areas such as frozen food, organic or vegan and natural consumables, and innovative packaging.
MIHAS 2021 is the gateway for brands looking to jumpstart or enhance their presence in the global Halal market. For more information, contact Ms. Azlina Jane Zahri, Director of Sales and Marketing at [email protected] or visit www.mihas.com.my