The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2019/20 has highlighted the growing opportunities for Australian food manufacturers in Islamic markets.

The 2019/20 report, produced by Dubai-based research firm Dinar Standard, is the seventh annual edition. It estimates that Muslims spent US$1.37 trillion globally in 2018 on halal food. This represents growth of 5.1% growth year-on-year with projected CAGR growth of 6.3% to US$1.97 trillion by 2024.

Australia is currently the world’s fourth largest exporter of halal food and beverages to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries with AUD$7.8 billion worth of goods exported in 2018. At a CAGR of 6.3%, exports would almost double over the next 10 years to AUD$14.6 billion.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation in the world after the United Nations, with 57 member countries. Its aims are to safeguard the interests of Muslims globally in a spirit of peace and harmony.

Talal Yassine, prominent Islamic Australian businessman and CEO of Australian Islamically compliant superannuation fund, Crescent Wealth, said there were considerable investor opportunities in domestic and global halal food markets.

“There are 52 countries around the world with halal food regulations, with Muslims accounting for 17% of the $8 trillion global food spend. In 2018/19, $649 million was invested in halal food production opportunities. This is just the tip of the iceberg for investors. We’re starting to see an increase in halal investment from global food giants as well as carve-outs of halal business units from these companies.

“The Dinar Standard report on the global Islamic economy identifies a number of interesting sector opportunities in the halal food space such as food tech, e-commerce and retail concepts. With beef consumption in Australia declining, the halal market stands as a beacon of hope for producers,” he said.

Australia exported AUD$3.1 billion of meat and live animals to the OIC in 2018, making it the second biggest exporter after Brazil. Australia’s largest customer was Indonesia, which imported AUD$1.2 billion in meat and live animals. Australia’s second largest OIC export was cereals, which represented AUD$1.9 billion in value.

The Australian domestic market for halal-certified food is also growing, with the current spend at AUD$1.7 billion annually. The 500,000 strong Australian Muslim population is forecast to reach 700,000 by 2050. In addition, 565,000 Muslim tourists visited Australia in 2018.

Supermarket chain, Woolworths, has recognised the growth opportunities in the halal food market, launching its Al-Sadiq brand of chicken products earlier this year across 20 stores in areas with high Muslim populations.

The Dinar Standard report also noted that the total Muslim consumer spend in Australia was $7.8 billion across 2018.

Mr Yassine said that as the Islamic economy became more sophisticated, Muslim Australians were increasingly seeking investments that were aligned with their beliefs.

“Crescent Wealth, Australia’s only prudentially regulated Islamic Superannuation fund continues to grow exponentially – as more and more people invest their super in accordance with their values,” he said.