Al Islami Foods, which began in 1970 as a grocery shop in Deira, now procures raw materials from around the world for processing in Dubai, with a range of over 100 frozen and speciality lines. It is also one of the biggest food distributors in the Middle East.
The company leads BRF of Brazil, one of the world’s biggest protein producers, Nestlé, Malaysian agro-foods company QL Foods and American Whole Foods supplier Saffron Road Food in the top five companies with the most impact on the global halal market compiled by Technavio.
The market analyst has valued the overall halal food market at US$1.1tr and predicts it will grow steadily at an annual rate of almost 16% until 2021. It names heavily populated Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran as the key contributors to the market, and cites Malaysia, the UAE and China as the countries that most strongly maintain halal food integrity.
Yet the global market is still highly fragmented, with many companies competing against each other in terms of product variation, portfolio and pricing.
“Organised retail is the most popular channel for Muslim shoppers, and supermarkets now compete with specialised product offerings and focus on ethical marketing,” said Manjunath Reddy, lead food research analyst at Technavio.
Over the past five years, supermarkets have expanded their product offerings, he added. Increased competition, however, may well lead vendors to reduce their prices, which could in turn negatively affect margins and market growth.