Halal cosmetics: India proves prosperous

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Halal cosmetics in India

Related tags: Islam

Independent network of accreditation entities, International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF), notes how halal producers are looking to India for growth amid demands for Shariah-compliant cosmetics.

India innovation

India is recognised as the second-largest halal market, after Indonesia. Oof the personal care industry’s $43 bn (€36.7 bn) total cosmetics sales in 2015, $4.2 bn (€3.6 bn)  came from India’s 170 mn Muslims, IHAF stated.

“India, being home to millions and millions of Muslims, is definitely a country that we look forward to working with as we strive to strengthen IHAF,”​ said Mohammed Saleh Badri, Secretary-General of International halal Accreditation Forum.

The country joined as a member with IHAF in 2016: “Driven by our mission to unify the global halal industry and break trade barriers, IHAF is ready to support India in bolstering its halal infrastructure,”​ Saleh Badri added.

Despite Indonesia remaining the leading innovator in halal product creation and sales​, India is expected to “have the biggest Muslim population by 2050, according to projections made by Pew Research Centre”​, IHAF revealed. Product developers and marketers, therefore, are shaping their marketing messages and distribution relationships around the demands of Indian consumers.

Unique natural and organic appeal

While halal-certified cosmetics were brought into the cosmetics sphere to appeal to the purchasing needs of the Muslim community, non-Muslim shoppers are also showing an interest in the halal segment — predominantly because it is connected to the natural and organic trend.  

In an exclusive interview with Cosmetics Design Asia​, Sharon Kwek, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Innovation and Insight Analyst at Mintel, stated that: “The rising trend of ethical wellbeing and lifestyle will increase the pace of the innovation landscape, as well as an increasing awareness of the halal-certified products that are not solely restricted to the Muslim population.”

Shariah-compliance

While IHAF accepts that “earning the halal consumer’s confidence in buying Shariah-compliant products remains a challenge”​, it recognises that natural and organic properties and those beauty items such as halal lipsticks, face creams and shampoos that appeal to niche audiences are heavily valued.  

In its recent press release, IHAF highlighted the recent study by Australasian multimedia agency, AMust Media, which emphasises the “lack of awareness among India’s Muslim consumers that mainstream cosmetics may contain haram ingredients”.

Confidence and business

It also holds that “halal fraud scandals have rocked consumer confidence”​. Consequently, gaining halal certification “is vitally important to establishing trust with the Muslim consumer”​ and must be supported by “open communication”​ and “proactive marketing”​.

As India is tipped to be a major marketplace for new product launches, IHAF’s believes that the development must be achieved through building awareness and protecting consumers when accessing Halal products and ingredients to ensure they meet Sharia law throughout India’s Halal Network.

Confidence and safety are at the top of the agenda for accreditation purposes, Badri iterates: “On top of IHAF’s goal of establishing one strong global assembly of halal industry stakeholders, our main goal in this endeavour is to ensure that people who live the halal lifestyle can purchase Shariah-compliant goods with confidence.”

Universal standard

Working towards putting global halal standards in place, IHAF utilises its network with governments, regulators, businesses and the public, as its strives to achieve this milestone.

When it comes to working with governments, it states that it plans to strengthen country-to-country bilateral ties and forge multilateral trade agreements for halal products”​.

It also focuses on supporting regulators with “verified and regularly monitored”​ regulators, along with providing them “with trusted tools that ensure the safety, quality and Shari’ah-compliance of halal-marked products within IHAF’s parameters”​.

As halal cosmetics sales gather pace, IHAF hopes that in the future there will be “one universal halal mark stamped on any product or service”​ to enable consumers throughout the globe to easily identify halal products.

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