Global halal food trends
There is no other way to put it – the halal food industry around the world is huge and growing at a rapid rate. According to Hexa Research, the halal food market is set to reach $2.55 trillion by 2024 and just last year it already reached a value of $1.4 trillion. Halal food is not just popular among Muslims and Islamic communities around the world, but also with many non-Islamic communities who are increasingly accepting and consuming halal food products. New food trends in the halal world are constantly being created and changing – just another attribute to how large the halal food market is.
Why are more and more people turning to halal?
The biggest driving force behind the halal scene around the world and especially in the US are Muslim millennials. This young demographic is both consumer, health conscious and ethically driven. They want to know what they’re eating, where it comes from and how the animal was treated. When meat is slaughtered in the halal way, the animal must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter, killed by hand and have all blood drained from the body. Halal slaughter also may involves the animal being stunned before they are killed, which, according to the RSPCA, can lessen the suffering of the animal. At the end of the day, the health benefits of eating halal certified meat are very appealing to many non-Muslims as it is a healthier option – free of chemicals, pesticides and confirmation that the animal was healthy. These days, halal meat is no longer just about religious rituals, but is seen as more of a hygienic and ethical way to consume meat.
Some of the latest halal food trends
Since halal food is hitting more restaurants, fast-food chain and supermarkets all over the world than ever before, some food trends have started as a result.
The Halal Guys
Pioneers of America halal food, The Halal Guys have gone global. Starting out with ‘one of the longest-running and best-known food-cart businesses in New York City’ – according to the New York Times, these guys have now franchised in more than 200 places worldwide. Starting off in 1990 as a hot dog cart on West 53rd and 6th Avenue in NYC, the cart quickly transformed into a halal cart as there was a high demand from Muslim cab drivers looking for a halal meal. Twenty-five years later and The Halal Guys have opened up restaurants all over the world, including their recently opened restaurant in London.
Halal snack pack
The Halal ‘snack pack’ made its way into Australian take-away stores a couple of years ago when Turkish kebab shop owner, Ufuk Bozouglu, created the name. It became so popular, that other kebab stores adopted the same name. Not only is the snack pack cheap, but the meat inside is 100% certified halal. This food trend made halal meat ‘cool and trendy’ in Australia, taking away a lot of the negative stereotypes non-halal eaters might have had.
The Bearded Bakers
The Knafeh Bakery in Australia is a traveling shipping container made up of singing, dancing bearded men. Their famous dish – knafeh – is a sweet cheese desert, topped with crushed pistachios and soaked in sugar syrup. They only use halal products and they are incredibly popular. The group started in Sydney in 2014, expanded to Melbourne and the rest of Australia and have also recently been spotted in New York!
Ethical, vegetarian and vegan
Just like the mainstream food market is providing more vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, so is the halal market. It is not just meat that diners are looking for, but also ethically sourced ingredients. A lot of halal butchers and eateries are now using organic meat and there are many halal restaurants now offering these new food trends around the world and particularly in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Besides the fact that sushi and sashimi has always been a tricky food to navigate for halal eaters, Japanese restaurants also serve dishes such as curries (largely with pork) and chicken and wagyu beef skewers. All in all, the Japanese kitchen has been off-limits in general for people who choose to eat only halal. However, Japanese restaurants in Japan, as well as some in the US and UK are staring to introduce more halal options to their menu. Since Japan is located so close to Muslim countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, it makes sense that they are offering halal.
Traditionally, bars have been a place to visit when you want an alcoholic beverage. But the new trend hitting the US are dry bars – alcohol free bars. Not only is this a healthier and halal friendly option, but it is also more inclusive. Listen Bar popped up in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York and was completely alcohol-free. They offered all the classic cocktails – sans the alcohol factor. They are having another pop-up bar again soon since it was such a success.
In the age of the ‘foodie’, halal food blogs have also become increasingly popular. My Halal Kitchen receives thousands of views per day, as does My Big Fat Halal Blog Mali. Another popular halal food blog to follow is Malika Ameen. All the bloggers behind these platforms discuss the fact that they wanted to find halal friendly recipes when cooking and that it was a struggle a few years ago.