Exploring Innovation and Transparency at Halal Expo Canada 2024

By Salima Jivraj, Client Services Director and Multicultural Lead

From innovative new products to insightful panel discussions, here's what caught my eye at Halal Expo Canada 2024.

Halal Expo Canada, the first-of-its-kind trade show for the halal industry in Canada, has been a cornerstone event for the past five years. This annual event is a treasure trove of new products, expert insights, and valuable networking opportunities, and I make it a point to visit each year as part of my ongoing research. This year, my visit focused on meeting key industry leaders and discussing Nourish’s upcoming annual Halal Shopper Study results. This unique study delves into the demographics, motivations, purchasing behaviours, media habits, and preferred grocery retailers of halal consumers in Canada, providing crucial insights for businesses aiming to connect with this growing market.

One of the most exciting aspects of this year's Expo was the array of startups showcasing the industry's evolution beyond traditional products like fresh meat. For instance, Sustainable Lifestyle Canada introduced their packaged halal collagen supplement, which is produced in South Africa and contains type 1 and type 3 collagen. Type 1 collagen is known for its benefits to skin, hair, and nails, while type 3 collagen supports gut health and skin elasticity. This product speaks to the diverse needs within the halal category as a whole, appealing to those focused on health and wellness, sports nutrition, and beauty.

Sweet Marshmallow Co.

Another vendor that stood out was Sweet Marshmallow Co, which produces gourmet halal marshmallows in mouthwatering flavours like Biscoff Swirl, Choco Hazelnut Fluff, and Ube. Their Instagram page showcases how to incorporate their indulgent treats into milkshakes, favours for events like baby showers, and more, illustrating how the Muslim consumer palate and interests go beyond stereotypical products and flavours.

A new face to the halal scene, but a well-established bakery with decades of history and experience, Trio Bakery exhibited their wide assortment of frozen boxed meat-filled pastries called Borek. HMA-certified and generously portioned, I look forward to these being the centrepiece of my Ramadan iftars (meal to break the fast at sundown) next year!

These examples highlight the innovative spirit and diverse offerings driving the halal market forward and could also be a clue for retailers looking to broaden their halal offerings both online and on-shelf.

A deep dive into the Farm to Plate discussion and its impact on building consumer trust in halal products.

The session titled "Farm to Plate: Building Consumer Trust through Halal Transparency" was an enlightening discussion moderated by Imam Omar Subedar, COO of the Halal Monitoring Authority. The panellists, representing various facets of the halal industry, shared their perspectives on several critical issues. One topic that particularly stood out was the debate over the need for a unified accreditation body, potentially governed in part or wholly by the Canadian government.

Most panellists agreed that such a body would benefit the halal industry in Canada by offering more robust protection for consumers who may have unknowingly encountered fraudulent halal claims. A unified accreditation body could streamline standards and enhance trust in halal certification, ensuring consumers can rely on the authenticity of halal products.

However, there was also a compelling argument for the community to self-govern and unify these standards independently. This approach would allow for greater flexibility and adaptability to the diverse ethnocultural groups within Canada's Muslim community. By self-governing, the halal industry can create standards that are inclusive and representative of all segments of the community, fostering a stronger, more cohesive approach to halal certification.

Halal Expo 2024 panel

At the end of the discussion, panellist Dr. Hamid Slimi, President of the Centre for Halal Accreditation, announced that Amir Quality Meats would officially open as the first Muslim-owned, federally-licenced abattoir just one hour north of Toronto. This marks a major accomplishment for the Muslim community. We congratulate Amir Quality Meats on this endeavour!

The panel discussion underscored the importance of transparency and trust in the halal supply chain. It highlighted the need for a collaborative effort, whether through government involvement or community self-regulation, to ensure the integrity of halal products from farm to plate.

Highlighting the release of Nourish Food Marketing's annual Halal Shopper Study and its implications for the industry.

We are excited to announce that the Nourish Halal Shopper Study is set to release in mid-June. This comprehensive study, details of which can be found here, is a key component of how we develop strategic promotional plans for our clients at Nourish Food Marketing. The study provides invaluable insights into the demographics, motivations, purchasing behaviours, media habits, preferred grocery retailers and more of halal consumers in Canada.

Interestingly, one of the questions in our survey connects directly to the panel discussion at the Halal Expo. We asked survey respondents which halal certifications they trust. Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a growing shift towards consumers trusting "anything that says halal" without a specific certification mark. Our insight into this trend is that consumers have been inundated with certification messaging over the last decade and may feel overwhelmed. They might also believe that certification drives up the cost of products. In the current high inflation market, this perception justifies their responses.

Want to know more? We’re hosting a webinar to highlight some of the key insights discovered in this year's survey results. This event will offer a deep dive into the study's findings, providing businesses with the knowledge they need to engage with the halal market effectively.

Our newsletter subscribers will be the first to receive details on this event and will have the opportunity to register early. By subscribing, you'll ensure you're on the list for more information about the study's release and other valuable resources from Nourish Food Marketing. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain critical insights and stay ahead in the ever-evolving halal market.

4092 2024 Trend Report Cover Mockup FR 1

Téléchargez gratuitement notre Rapport sur les tendances 2024


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