The report, entitled Market Trend: Kosher- and Halal-Certified Foods in the US, resonates with a similar report from Mintel released earlier this year, which concluded that the majority of American consumers who buy kosher foods do so for perceived quality and safety reasons, rather than for religious ones. The new Packaged Facts report is its first to analyze halal foods – those that comply with Muslim law – at length, and its first to examine kosher foods in over a decade.
It suggests that companies should consider the marketing push and public perception of safety that comes with kosher certification and the far broader export opportunities that come with halal certification.
The market researcher asserts that certification in itself brings publicity, as authorizing entities circulate press releases, not only to religious organizations, but also to trade associations and the press. The report also highlights the importance of the internet in publicizing the availability of certified products and where they can be found.
“Certification enhances the desirability of a company’s products to a broader customer base in the US – provided marketers ensure consumers are made aware of the third-party endorsement – as well as expanding export opportunities.”
Halal certification also expands opportunities for export to Muslim countries and, although the Muslim population in the US is tiny, at 0.6 percent, Muslims account for one in five people in the world, expected to increase to 30 percent by 2025, meaning “extraordinarily promising export opportunities”.
Packaged Facts estimates kosher food sales through grocery stores jumped from $142bn in 2003 to $211bn in 2008, growing twice as fast as the food market as a whole. But overall, kosher-identified brands are not growing, and the Jewish population is shrinking, so growth is due to more certification and more consumers seeking kosher products, it said. For specialist ethnic kosher food companies, this means they “must expand their sights in order to grow.”
Regarding halal foods, the market researcher said that there is “a dearth of reliable market data” but cited the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry – where halal trade is of increasing importance – which estimates the market value for halal foods in the US at $11.6bn, and $548bn worldwide.
The report also suggested that Canada presents broadening market opportunities for halal foods, with the number of Canadian Muslims set to double from 600,000 in 2000 to 1.2m in 2010, and a lack of convenient outlets for halal foods.