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Islamic markets: untapped potential

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The Muslim population is expected to increase to 2.2 billion by 2030. But most businesses are failing to exploit this growing market..

“Companies are facing ever stronger competition in established markets. Many are rushing into high-profile regions such as China, India and Brazil, while the single biggest market in the world is being largely overlooked,” comments Dr Paul Temporal, who is responsible for directing a research and education project in Islamic branding and marketing at Saïd Business School.

Temporal says Muslim consumers have been under-served, with few products tailored to their needs. 

“Western brands often have a cachet and are well-liked, but many of them are not compliant with Shariah law and are not considered to be Halal,” he says. “This impacts particularly on some product groups such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food stuffs, beverages and financial products, creating valuable market niche opportunities for those companies prepared to cater for Muslim consumer needs.”

The global Halal food market is estimated to be worth around $650bn annually.  

There are also big opportunities to market to Muslim teens: “By 2050, more than 60 per cent of the world’s under-18-year-olds will be Muslim. Research suggests these consumers will keep to their Islamic values and will want appropriate products,” says Temporal. 

“Lifestyle products such as fast food, personal care, fashion, cosmetics and new media products are all likely to benefit from this demographic trend.”

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