With more than 1.9 billion Muslims in the world, manufacturers including the bakery industry are considering Halal certification to expand their overall market share and global sales. ‘Halal’ is an Arabic word that translates to ‘permitted’ in English. Halal certification is needed in the consumption of goods and services (generally edibles, cosmetics, and personal care products) for Muslims. Noticeably, both consumables and non-consumables are entitled to receive a Halal certification.
Navigating Halal Food Markets
Taking into account the global economic uncertainty, there has never been a better time to explore the evolving Halal food market than now. While the term Halal is believed to be mainly associated with meat and slaughtering procedures, it’s a broad term that embraces almost all food categories. For this particular reason, bakery products must also fulfill the diversifying challenges of the Halal food market. For instance, the producers must ensure that all of their raw materials including butter, cream, and eggs are strictly Halal-compliant and garnered from Halal sources only.
To get Halal compliance, the food must not include pork (and its byproducts). Also, it must omit the alcohol and its derivatives. Halal certification can significantly help the American bakery industry to grow and excel as potential bakers can easily get access to the Halal food market with minimum investment and modification. The demand for healthy and organic foods is on the rise. Today, consumers prefer products that aren’t only delicious but also made keeping the best practices in mind.
They want products made of nutritious and healthy ingredients. Hence, Halal bakery products can easily satisfy customer needs for high-quality products made from premium Halal-compliant ingredients. Since, a lot of traditional bakery products including bread, cookies, and pastries already have Halal attributes, the only thing they need is an official certification. Even products that aren’t fully compliant may just need an ingredient substitution or a minor processing adjustment to comply with Halal food standards.
There are more than 8 million Halal food consumers in the US alone. Similarly, the Halal food consumers in North America are estimated to be 9 million. That’s a huge market. According to one of the studies conducted in the US, the total Halal purchasing power in the United States of America is more than $170 billion and it’s still growing. So what makes the Halal food market in the US appealing? It mainly reflects the rise of Halal consumers compared to other groups and religious communities. Also, there are second and third-generation customers living in the US and Canada who are fond of conventional food and are always on the lookout for options that are Halal-certified. As we’ve discussed above, it takes less investment and few adjustments for the baking industry to become Halal-compliant, it’s a great opportunity for potential investors who want to set foot in the baking industry.
But just like any other business, starting a Halal-certified bakery has its challenges. Here are a few simple things one must consider before starting a Halal bakery in the US.
Know the Principles of Islamic Business Practices
Before starting a Halal-certified bakery, it’s important to know the basics of Islamic business practices. Starting a Halal-labeled business in an inclusive process that not only includes the acquisition of Halal products and producing food free from non-Halal ingredients, but you also have to follow the ways Prophet (P.B.U.H) and early followers conducted their business and implement the same practices in your business.
Pay Attention to the Supply Line
When running a bakery, a smooth supply chain process is the lifeblood of your business. If you have reliable and best suppliers, you can have an interrupted flow of Halal products. Make sure you do your homework and conduct meetings with the vendors you’re most interested in collaborating with.
Connect with Other Bakery Owners
Networking is key to a successful business. More often than not, niche-specific restaurants are willing to provide basic information on how they started their business and what specific business practices worked best for them.
Encourage Transparency and Great Customer Service
Consumers today are conscious about what they eat. That is why you must be completely transparent about your business practices. You don’t have to parcel out trade secrets, but revealing some basic information can strengthen your brand recognition and provide a loyal customer base.
Keep Yourself Updated
Last but not least, you should keep yourself updated with the latest Halal-certified bakery trends. Make sure you attend Halal food expos and seminars as much as possible. Apart from that, also pay attention to the recent technological advancements in the baking industry along with current social media and marketing trends to help your customers see you as more than just a seller, but a pro in your respective field.
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