COVID-19 pandemic increases popularity of Islamic Halal food
Halal food is rising in popularity as people turn to religious practices amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has heightened uncertainty and anxiety, reports have shown.
In order for meat to be considered Halal, animals must be slaughtered by a Muslim, who says a blessing, and the animal’s throat must be slit by hand, not by machine. Once killed, the animal’s blood must drain completely.
Inventure Knowledge, a research and consulting company in Indonesia, said in a report published on Monday that concerns over the risks of COVID-19 had contributed to an increase in people’s awareness about the importance of consuming halal and hygienic food.
The coronavirus pandemic is believed to have started in a market in Wuhan, China, that sold wild animals for food consumption. China has since imposed a blanket ban on wild animal trade and consumption.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware that non-halal food and food that is not processed in a hygienic manner have great potential to cause diseases such as the one we see today,” said the report, synonymizing halal with healthy and hygienic food.
Yet, even before halal food gained in popularity due to increased hygiene concerns in recent weeks, reports on the halal economy showed that the industry has been growing for years.
The world’s approximately 2 billion Muslims spent an estimated $2.2 trillion in 2018 across different sectors of the halal economy, which indicated 5.2 percent year-on-year growth.
The overall halal economy is projected to be worth $3.2 trillion by 2024, based on a 2019 report by DinarStandard, a research and advisory firm.
The trend in Halal food is also visible in Western countries with a non-Muslim majority.
With the recent outbreak, people are looking to boost their immunity through healthy eating. The World Health Organization (WHO) has appealed to the public to consume more healthy food and avoid or reduce alcohol consumption as it weakens the immune system.002