2016 - a momentous year for the halal segment in Asia
Halal is an Arabic term used to describe items that are considered acceptable for consumption or use and applies to all aspects of life for the practitioners of Islam, including pharmaceuticals, personal care, skin and hair care products.
The sector is tipped to reach a valuation of US $2.47bn in Asia alone.
Bills to encourage halal manufacturing
Beginning the year with a bang, the Philippines joined other non-Muslim majority countries such as Thailand, Australia and New Zealand in building domestic output by introducing various new bills to encourage the manufacture, accreditation and trade of domestically produced halal products.
The new bills, which cover products across beauty and personal care, medicines and meat, look to set up clear, efficient guidelines and bodies to orchestrate and regulate the halal industry within the country.
Shortly after, Korean beauty player Cosmax had announced it had received halal certification for its’ manufacturing facilities in Indonesia from international accreditation agency, Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI).
Halal certification from MUI, one of the top three worldwide halal bodies, is reportedly recognised by around 40 countries across the globe, according to the Korea Herald, and Cosmax sees the accreditation as the first step in its strategy to become a ‘hub’ for halal beauty in the Asia region.
Around the same time, chemicals company BASF announced that 145 of its personal care products now complied with halal standards while Seven Scent became the first UK-based fragrance supplier to achieve halal certification for its full portfolio.
Breaking into the segment hasn’t been without its’ challenges, even for the well-established cosmetics players who are seasoned in expanding into new categories and continents.
Challenges of halal certification
In May, it was global personal care giant, Unilever that was reporting challenges in meeting halal accreditation in Indonesia with its’ entire supply chain under scrutiny for compliance.
The fast moving consumer goods company, which owns such popular personal care brands as Dove and Axe, reportedly has a system in place to guarantee the halal nature of its products and factories in Indonesia, but ensuring the system is upheld is proving difficult for a number of factors.
Along with regulating third party suppliers, other key challenges Unilever faces include providing appropriate training for employees, ensuring the materials and ingredients used in manufacture are all halal permissible, and ensuring the correct labelling is in place on final products before retail.