The halal pavilion at the upcoming Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) is expected to attract a lot of attention this year, feel the organisers
Around 20 per cent of visitors from Africa and around the world had a particular interest in the halal pavilion last year, and this figure is set to increase substantially in 2016, they stated.
Set to take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in South Africa between 19-21 June 2016, AB7 is the region’s largest food and beverage exhibition. “This spectacular food and beverage exhibition is growing in popularity year by year,” said John Thomson of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of the show. “Last year, 267 companies from 49 countries exhibited at AB7, a significant increase over the 225 companies from 35 countries participating in 2014.”
While the show looks set to welcome more visitors this year as well, all eyes are specifically on the halal pavilion. Organisers believe that the rising Muslim population globally has placed this market in focus – there are 75 countries in the world with Muslim population exceeding one million people. By 2030, there will be around 2.2bn Muslims in the world.
The global demand for halal food is set to exceed US$1 trillion per year, with manufacturers, suppliers and service providers exploring substantial business opportunities to cater to the growing Muslim population in Africa.
Despite a relatively small Muslim population, South Africa has become a leading producer of halal products worldwide. It has a comprehensive halal certification programme and is also a key gateway supplier to African halal markets.
The East African markets too present a wealth of opportunities for the market, as revealed by a study carried out by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Demand for halal-certified foods has expanded beyond basic meat and meat products to include franchises, prepared meals, as well as canned, frozen and instant foods,” added Thomson.
The South African National Halaal Authority, (SANHA) has been supporting Africa’s Big Seven for more than a decade. “AB7 offers participants what no other expo, show or event can – an inter-Africa, intra-Africa platform for all companies in the food supply chain,” stated SANHA public relations officer Ebi Lockhat.
Through AB7, the halal business community can network, showcase products and learn about new trends in the market.