African Halaal: Big Business at AB7

African Halaal: Big Business at AB7

With global sales of Halaal products ending at $1.1-Trillion last year, the Halaal sector is no longer seen as a niche market. A report from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce estimates the global Halaal market to reach $1.6-Trillion by 2018. Africa shares this growth, with the continent’s Halaal food market estimated to top $160-billion during 2014.

Africa’s Big Seven (AB7), the largest food and beverage expo on the African continent, will once again host a Halaal World Pavilion showcasing Halaal products to the African market. AB7 takes place from 21 to 23 June 2015 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand.

“New Halaal foods and beverages are an ever-growing trend amongst Muslim communities around the world, especially the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern and South-east Asia,” says John Thomson of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of AB7.

“In Africa, over 40% of the population is Muslim, and Halaal products comprise 25% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product. It’s a vitally important, growing market, and AB7 gives producers and distributors an effective networking platform to explore trade in Africa.”

Strategic Supply Advantage

South Africa is strategically positioned for manufacturers and suppliers of Halaal products to African and Middle East countries, as well as other potential markets such as South East Asia, the Asian sub-continent and Europe. This is the view of Ebi Lockhat, Public Relations Officer for the South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA).

“SANHA has been exploring trade opportunities with Africa’s Big Seven for a number of years,” says Lockhat. “We host a SANHA pavilion at AB7 where businesses certified with our organisation can showcase their products to the world.”

Malaysian Exhibitors Go Big at AB7

“Almost 20-million Malaysians – 61% of the population – follow Islam and a Halaal lifestyle,” says John Thomson. “The country is a major producer and exporter of Halaal products, and a regular exhibitor at Africa’s Big Seven.”

Last year, the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) brought 12 companies to exhibit at AB7. They attended 175 business meetings during the show, and concluded almost R22-million ($2.44-million) in sales of popular products such as palm oil products, edible gelatine, pre-mixed coffee, dried fruit and frozen fruit cakes.

Results For Exhibitors

One Malaysian exhibitor, Soy Asahi Food Service, displayed its popular marinades for grilled meat and seafood, offered in a variety of flavours. All its products are Halaal certified.

“I saw huge potential for my products at Africa’s Big Seven as there is great demand from Africans who are big meat lovers,” says Bernard Cheah, a Director of Soy Asahi Food Service. “We generated over 50 leads and we are still in contact with those companies, most of them from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Ghana.”

Regular Malaysian exhibitor Oya Sweets, also Halaal certified, is already well known in South Africa for its high quality sweets, and had great customer response at the show.

“We attracted many good leads, especially from neighbouring African countries,” says Batuhan Koksal, the company’s Production Manager. “Africa’s Big Seven is always a success for us.”

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