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Canada: Say hello to halal

A 2009 study from Interpoc Inc. for the government of Manitoba estimated the total halal meat market in Canada at $214 million

By Rebecca Harris / Eat-halal.com / 24 Dec 2013

Salima Jivra is a first-generation Muslim Canadian who gets most of her shopping done at a mainstream grocer, but then also has to buy halal meat at a South-Asian food market.

“It would be more ideal to shop at a grocery store, where I can get everything: my normal groceries, some of the more ethnic-related items and then also my halal meat,” says Jivraj, founder of Toronto’s Halal Food Fest and operator of halal-focused website HalalFoodie.ca.

Grocers that carry halal meat (meaning meat that is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law) could tap into a burgeoning market. According to Statistics Canada, the Muslim population exceeded the one million mark in 2011, almost doubling its population for the third consecutive decade.

“That is clearly a boost to halal products,” says Svetlana Uduslivaia, senior research analyst at Chicago-based Euromonitor International.“Right now, a lot of this need is being met by ethnic-food retailers as opposed to mainstream retailers.”

Even if mainstream grocers served up halal meat, they’d have to address several issues. There is a serious spiritual component to purchasing halal meat to consider, says Jivraj.

“[Muslims] have to trust that there’s no cross-contamination, [know that] it’s coming from a proper source and that the people who are cutting and packing it are knowledgeable enough to answer their questions.”

A 2009 study from Interpoc Inc. for the government of Manitoba estimated the total halal meat market in Canada at $214 million, of which $80 million is from the beef market. By now, the market is likely worth much more than that.

Pam Kellogg, senior director of marketing at Maple Leaf Foods, points to Nielsen sales volume stats that show the halal segment of fresh chicken is growing at 6% per year, which is greater than the total fresh chicken growth at 1%.

 

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