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Halal certication: implication

for marketers in UAE


Shambavi Rajagopal
Middlesex University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Sitalakshmi Ramanan
Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai Womens College,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Ramanan Visvanathan
Shail Group of Institutions, Indore, India, and
Subhadra Satapathy
Manipal University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to introduce Halal certication as a new marketing paradigm
which marketers can use to differentiate their products and services in the current competitive
environment.
Design/methodology/approach In total, 151 questionnaires were distributed to the business
student population from different universities in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The self-administered
questionnaire required the respondents to answer demographics questions on emirate of residence
within UAE, gender, age and nationality, followed by specic questions to determine if respondents
actively seek Halal certication for various products and services and if they were aware of brands
offering certication. The questionnaire concluded with an open-ended question to nd out what
Halal certication meant to the respondent.
Findings The application of statistical tools indicated that, although the concept of Halal is familiar
to the students, their awareness of whether products are Halal certied and their knowledge about
Halal brands is extremely low.
Practical implications This paper suggests a model for marketers to brand their products and
services by seeking, highlighting and communicating Halal certication in the UAE and possibly
extending to the world markets.
Originality/value The paper suggests that consumers are not exposed enough to Halal certication
and Halal brands through marketing communication and suggests the greater use of marketing and
branding to promote and sell Halal products and services. It has immediate practical relevance to
marketing practitioners and strategic planners.
Keywords Halal, Beliefs, Brand awareness, Consumer behaviour, Islamic marketing, Halal certication,
United Arab Emirates
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Opportunities to differentiate and to provide a unique identity to products are few and
far between. Trout (2002) goes so far as to say that you cant over communicate your
difference. The cost of differentiating products often oversets the benets of product
and service differentiation. Since Halal is a vital aspect of the Islamic cultural web,
Halal certication allows us to explore a new marketing paradigm.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/1759-0833.htm
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Journal of Islamic Marketing
Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011
pp. 138-153
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
1759-0833
DOI 10.1108/17590831111139857
Halal literally means permissible - and in translation it refers to lawful
according to followers of Islam religion. The antonym to Halal is haram, which means
unlawful or forbidden. It is essential to a Muslim that whatever product is consumed
should be lawful and permissible.
Today Muslims account for a quarter of the worlds populationandtheyare expected to
reach30 percent by2025(Roberts, 2010). The impact of culture is sonatural andautomatic
that its inuence on behavior is usually taken for granted (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009).
Consequently, the Halal phenomenon is acquiring global recognition and usage.
The current study researches awareness about Halal products and Halal certication
among the student population in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study is focused on
the student population, as all marketing practitioners agree that the brand loyalty
developed among the younger generation may be leveraged lifelong, if they are targeted
in their youth. Thus, the brand can increase its share in the customer lifetime value
(Cravens and Piercy, 2006).
The Halal paradigms signicance was emphasized by the news report in
Khaleej Times (2009) on 27 November that during the Halal Expo, 2009 held in Dubai,
UAE there were 80 global companies and more than 200 brands compared to
52 exhibitors in the previous year reported in The Halal Post Show Report (2008).
The gures of the report (Appendix 1) suggest that in addition to the primary
interest in Halal food, visitors also evinced a noticeable interest in hospitality, beauty
care, health care and ingredients. This denitely indicates that marketers have a scope
to either create new products or identify existing products that can be Halal certied
and marketed successfully to fulll the needs of the Islamic consumer.
According to IFANCA, when a product is Halal certied, the consumer can purchase
the product with the assurance it does not contain anything that is haram or doubtful.
Producers/marketers also benet since Halal certication provides an independent
third-party quality assurance step valued by conscientious consumers which leads to
worldwide acceptance of their products and services. Thus, there is a growing need for
increasing consumers awareness of the benets of Halal certication and educating
marketers on utilizing this tool. The concept of obtaining of Halal certication from
relevant authority, and communicating it to the consumer can be used by marketers for
focused differentiation (Porter, 1980), whereby, there is a perceived added value to a
particular consumer segment.
The Halal Monitoring Committee, UK states that:
[. . .] companies throughout the world are seeking authentic Halal certication to gain consumer
condence, expandtheir existingmarket andenhance sales strategies. Manycompanies continue
to choose the HMCHalal certication and are enjoying the marketing privileges this certication
offers. The HMC Halal symbol can open new marketing avenues never before accessed.
2. Halal products and services: literature review
This section explains how Halal is used in different contexts. Halal is not just
applicable to food and drinks consumed internally but also where other sensory organs
are involved and hence the USP is now the new emotional selling point.
2.1 Halal foods
Ahmed (November 2009) reported that Halal continues making waves and grabbing
attention of investors, suppliers and producers. Countries that will succeed in entering
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the international Halal market will be those who pay attention to the details of quality,
standards and marketing, aligned with the most active players such as Malaysia,
Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Turkey and now UAE.
Andarakis (2009), Chief Executive Ofcer of Al Islami Foods, an award winning
Halal producer in the Middle East, stated that the Southeast Asian producers are vying
over US$2.1 trillion and growing Halal food market in 185 countries and working out
on long-term plans to enter more than 1.8 billion Muslim market.
2.2 Halal food and beverage convergence
According to Trade Arabia (2008), Masa, a leading UAE-based producer of mineral
water in the Gulf region, declared it was set to enter the gourmet food business
indicating convergence of food and beverage companies. The company planned to
develop a diverse food and drink portfolio and expand into a fully edged fast moving
consumer goods company by 2011. The company also announced plans to produce
premium potato chips that are low in saturated fat and 100 percent Halal. This
suggests that both food companies and water companies that plan to grow laterally
have seen the potential of the Halal word in business.
2.3 Halal agriculture: fruits and vegetables
Genetically modied food is considered to be un-Islamic and not Halal. Huat (October
2009) mentioned the Halal Development Corporation (HDC), owned by the Malyasian
Government, signed a MoU with Beneq Pte Ltd, a newly formed company that will
lead Glons agri food business thrust in Asia. The Glon Groupe, with an annual
turnover of e1.65 billion (RM8.3 billion) and 60 years of experience in the food
processing industry, would bring its time-tested philosophy of creating a successful
agricultural eco-system to benet all involved in the Halal agricultural value food
chain. With the MoU, the Halal industry will have access to breakthrough technology
that leads in traceability and sustainability from farm to fork.
2.4 Halal logistics
Arabiansupplychain.com ( July 2009) states that Halal food requires Halal supply
chain. This not only includes unbroken cool chains but efcient delivery of fresh food
produce also. The report also suggests that players need to be well versed in the whole
ethos in order to maintain what is known as the Halal integrity of a food product and
to be at the top of the Halal logistics game. The industry is now demanding more
specialized Halal compliant solutions for its supply chain process in order to maintain
the legitimacy of some Halal products.
Companies like Emirates Sky Cargo based out of Dubai, UAE offer a complete
Cool Chain solutionandat the same time Meat andLivestockAustralia, has a Halal brand
for Australianmeat inthe Middle East. These organizations have jumpedin earlyto set the
consumer mind at rest and cater to the demand yet there remains a big gap in the market.
2.5 Halal chemicals
Henni and Canty (2009) mention that Malaysias Titan Chemicals claims that it has
become the rst petrochemical company in the world to have their polyolens
(polypropylene and polyethylene) certied as Halal by the HDC in Malaysia and
Majelis Ulama Indonesia in Indonesia, respectively.
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Companies like Merck have Merck4Food in their product portfolio, which has wide
range of food additives that comply with Islamic law and are certied as being Halal.
Apart from this the chemicals used for cleaning (especially soaps and foams) should
be screened to avoid animal fat origin.
2.6 Halal pharmaceuticals
The global pharmaceutical market stood at US$607 billion in 2006 and Frost and
Sullivan estimates this market to reach US$818 billion by 2013 while
PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast it to be US$1.3 trillion by 2020.
Too (2010) reports that the Brunei Economic Development Board announced
the endorsement of the Sultanates Halal pharmaceutical guidelines put together by a
group of government agencies. She also indicates that these guidelines that were a rst
of its kind help Brunei Darussalam attract investors keen on grabbing a share of the
market for Halal-certied pharmaceuticals. Cheong said that the guidelines would help
with convincing foreign investors to look at Brunei as a location for the manufacturing
of Halal pharmaceuticals.
2.7 Halal chocolates
Gulf Marketing Review (2009), reported that Nestle has planned to move its Halal range
into mainstream retail channels in Swiss supermarkets. Nestle has been offering Halal
versions of many of its brands since 2004 in countries like France, the UK, Germany, etc.
Halal products are sold in 1,000 stores in ve European countries. The product range
includes Nido, Smarties, Maggi Soups, Kit Kat, Milo and Nescafe accounting for annual
sales around $5.2 billion. Out of 456 factories, 85 are Halal certied. Though mainly
these factories are in Indonesia, South Africa and Middle East surprisingly 20 of the
factories is Halal certied.
2.8 Halal cosmetics
Patton (2009) states that the demand for Halal cosmetics worldwide is on the rise,
driven not only by more afuent Muslim consumers but also growing interest in high
quality, safe products. Though wearing cosmetics is questionable for Muslim women
and under debate, those who do wear, prefer pork and alcohol-free products.
Where Anita Roddick of Body Shop might have used against animal testing and
natural ingredients to position the company which is quite popular in Middle East,
it is Layla Mandi, a Canadian make-up artist who has set up the Dubai-based company
OnePure having identied the gap in the market and selling specially formulated
cosmetics range including toner, cleanser moisturizer, etc. with elaborate plans to move
into the mens cosmetics range too. They also plan to partner with leading hotel brands
to provide OnePure to the guests.
There are other players in the market but just a handful and more important fact is
whether the consumer is informed and aware of the choices available.
2.9 Halal and technology
A report (May 2009) states that nding a Halal restaurant has become easier for
Americans Muslims thanks to Halalpal, an iPhone application that provides users a list
of nearby Halal restaurants with maps, contact information, price categories
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and recommendations. The report found that peoples need for such a service provided
the inspiration to create a special application for Halal users.
Halalpals founder states that the aim of any business is to tune in and respond to
the needs of customers.
2.10 Halal hospitality
Kola (April 2008) mentions that Islamic hotels are becoming increasingly popular with
Muslims and non-Muslims alike for their quiet, family-friendly approach, Some of the
key features of an Islamic hotel, or Shariah compliant hotel, include serving of Halal
food, and women staff attired in dresses that comply with the Muslim culture. Also, no
alcohol is sold in the hotel nor it is allowed in. There are other facilities like ladies-only
swimming pools. The hotels receive many guests from the CIS and Baltic countries,
which comprise of large Muslim populations.
Gangal (March 2010) informs that a new online resource has been launched that will
provide information on Halal travelling to the public. Users of Halaltrip.com can rate
businesses, which will be examined daily helping to create the most transparent travel
source for Muslims. The resource aims to be the leading online source for Muslims
planning their holidays or religious trips. This is an underestimated market as they are
reaching out to more than one billion people.
2.11 Halal and vegetarianism
Halal is also being hailed by vegetarians. The Vegetarian Resource Group in a poll in
2009 estimated six to eight million adult vegetarians in the USA. Harris Interactive
w
elded the study on behalf of The Vegetarian Resource Group fromMay 1-5, 2009 via its
QuickQuery
SM
online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,397 US
adults aged 18 years and older. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to
be representative of the total US adult population on the basis of region, age within
gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity and propensity to be online.
So now there is a new segment where Halal is not exclusive to non-vegetarians and
Muslims. Both groups are connected to religion and both are niche and both comprise a
large segment of the world population which cannot be tracked as no country tracks
population on the basis of personal preferences.
From the above literature review, the following areas for research on consumers
Halal awareness emerge:
RQ1. Does the customer seek Halal certications consciously?
RQ2. Is the customer aware of brands in the various categories of Halal-certied
products and services that he seeks?
3. Methodology
3.1 Hypothesis
The four independent variables considered for the study were emirate of residence, age,
gender and nationality. Based on the research questions above, the following
hypotheses were formulated.
3.1.1 Hypothesis based on emirates of residence.
H1. Business students residing in all emirates consciously seek Halal
certication.
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H2. Business students residing in Dubai show higher awareness of brands with
Halal certication.
3.1.2 Hypothesis based on age.
H3. Business students of all ages consciously seek Halal certication.
H4. Business students in the age group of 18-25 years show higher awareness of
brands with Halal certication.
3.1.3 Hypothesis based on gender.
H5. Business students of both genders consciously seek Halal certication.
H6. Female business students show higher awareness of brands with Halal
certication.
3.1.4 Hypothesis based on nationality.
H7. Business students from all nationalities consciously seek Halal certication.
H8. Business students from UAE and Arab expatriates show higher awareness of
brands with Halal certication.
3.2 Objectives
The primary objective of the study was to identify existence of brand awareness
amongst students in UAE regarding Halal-certied companies offering various
products and services. The second objective was to recommend to marketers the
advantage of tapping into the non-vegetarian customer segment using Halal
certication. Finally, the study seeks to recommend to companies using the vegetarian
stamp to tap the 1.8 million Halal market by seeking Halal certication.
3.3 Research design
Primary descriptive research was conducted amongst business students in UAE
through a self-administered questionnaire.
A secondary exploratory research was carried out prior to the primary data
collection to identify organizations offering Halal-certied products and services.
3.4 Sampling design
Students of business studies were chosen as the sample population as a part of their
curriculum comprises of modules on marketing and communication strategies and
understanding the value of differentiation and brand equities. They are expected to be
more aware of the trends and latest happenings in the market. And, they are signicant
to companies because of their customer lifetime value.
The number of sampling units was 151 and the respondents were selected using
judgmental sampling. The data were collected over nine months from January 2010 to
October 2010.
3.5 Data collection
Variables were selected due to the unique characteristics of the cosmopolitan
population of UAE comprising of 200 nationalities. The self-administered
questionnaire required the respondents to answer:
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.
demographics questions on emirate of residence, gender, age and nationality;
.
whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian;
.
specic questions to nd out if the respondents actively seek Halal certication
for various products and services that include meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables,
chocolates, medicines, cosmetics, beverages and hospitality;
.
brand awareness for the various product categories; and
.
an open-ended question to nd out what Halal certication meant to the
respondent.
3.6 Statistical tools applied
In addition to descriptive statistics, the study analyzed the mean scores and standard
deviation for awareness levels and applied inferential statistical tests such as x
2
-test,
t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) to nd any association between the
independent variables used and Halal awareness and brand knowledge. The study also
computed correlation coefcient to determine the degree of correlation between
awareness of Halal and brand knowledge.
3.7 Limitations of the study
The research is constrained by time and cost. A possible limitation of the study may be
that as business students in the UAE, respondents are expected to have some knowledge
of Halal certication. This may have introduced a systematic bias in the responses.
However, this may be overcome by the responses seeking Halal brand knowledge.
4. Analysis and discussion
A total of 151 questionnaires were distributed among the respondents to identify
possible relationships between each of the demographic variables and their preference
for Halal-certied products and services and the extent of their brand awareness.
Analysis of demographics
A total of 151 respondents were surveyed. About two-thirds of the respondents resided
in the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah, 8 percent from Ajman and the remaining
25 percent spread over the other emirates in the UAE. The percentages of female and
male respondents in the survey were 58 and 42 percent, respectively. The dominant
age group of the respondents was 18-25 years of age with about 90 percent of the
respondents belonging to this age group. This was consistent with the objective of
the study to research Halal consciousness among the student group in UAE. Asian
expatriates made up the maximum number of respondents. About two-third of the
respondents were Asian expatriates, followed by Arab expatriates (16.6 percent) and
UAE nationals (12.6 percent). The remaining 5 percent were made up of Western
nationals and others. About 82 percent of the respondents studied were
non-vegetarians and the remaining 18 percent were vegetarian.
Appendix 2 shows the number and corresponding percentages of respondents who
look for Halal certication always, sometimes and never for each of the products and
services in the study. It is evident from the table that meat and poultry are the two
products in which maximum percentage of respondents always look for Halal
certication while fruits, vegetables and cosmetics make up the products that have
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the highest percentage of respondents never looking for Halal certication. This may
be because natural products such as fruits and vegetables are automatically perceived
as Halal and genetic modication which is much prevalent does not come under
regular scrutiny. Cosmetics also has a low mean rating possibly because people
associate Halal with internal consumption disregarding the fact that cosmetics pass
through the skin pores.
Analysis of the mean scores for Halal certication
The mean score was 16.22 and the standard deviation was 4.78. These were used to
classify the respondents into three levels of awareness. The respondents were classied
into low, moderate and high level of awareness categories. The respondents who had
scored 13 or below (i.e. below mean 20.5 SD value) were classied as having low
awareness while the respondents who had scored 20 or above (i.e. above mean 0.5 SD
value) were classied as having high awareness. Those respondents with mean scores
between 14 and 19 (both inclusive) were classied as having moderate awareness.
The awareness score on Halal certication found that 31.8 percent of the respondents
showed scores lower than 13 indicating lowawareness levels while 25.8 percent showed
high awareness level. This may be interpreted to mean that although the respondents
state that they are Halal conscious, the results of the study indicate otherwise.
The actual scores were compared across all the personal variables and the
corresponding statistical tests were carried out and the results are presented in the
following pages.
ANOVA tests for signicant mean differences in variables among multiple groups.
ANOVA for awareness score on Halal certication based on emirates of residence
showed no signicant difference in the means of the various groups (emirates of
residence) as indicated by the F-statistics although the mean awareness score varied
from 15.59 to 17.33. This is consistent with the H1 that business students residing in all
emirates consciously seek Halal certication.
ANOVA for awareness score on Halal certication based on age also showed no
signicant mean difference in the awareness among the different age groups studied.
This supports H3 business students of all ages consciously seek Halal certication.
Since the awareness score will tell us the level of awareness of each respondent
(i.e. lower the score lower the awareness and higher the score higher the awareness, the
mean awareness scores for each age group are found out. ANOVA was done to see
whether there are signicant differences in the scores among different age groups of
respondents. The ANOVA result shows that the calculated F-ratio value is 1.986 which
is found to be not signicant when tested at 5 percent level. Hence it may be inferred
that the awareness scores do not vary based on different age groups.
ANOVA for awareness score on Halal certication based on nationalities showed
signicant mean difference in the awareness among the different groups of
nationalities studied at 1 percent level of signicance. This does not support H7 that
business students from all nationalities consciously seek Halal certication UAE
nationals showed highest mean ratings (19.58) while Western nationals and others
showed lowest mean rating (14).
A t-test is carried out to see if there are any signicant differences in the means for
two groups in the variable of interest. The t-test showed no statistical signicance
in the differences of mean for male and female respondents on awareness score
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certication
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on Halal certication. This is consistent with H5 that business students of both
genders consciously seek Halal certication. During the analysis, the t-test also showed
no statistical signicance in the difference of means for vegetarian and non-vegetarian
respondents.
Brand knowledge on Halal certication
The knowledge about number of brands known to have Halal certication was found
out by adding the number of brands known for each product. The total indicated on the
whole the number of brands the respondents claimed to know that were Halal certied.
The study indicated that the brand knowledge about number of products varied
between 0 and 15. The average number of brands known to the respondents based on
emirates of residence was 2.42 with a standard deviation of 3.34. It is signicant that
there was so much variation in their knowledge that the standard deviation was higher
than the mean for all emirates of residence except Ajman. It is also important that
48 percent of the respondents had no knowledge of the brands that were Halal certied
while only 12 percent of the respondents could identify more than six Halal-certied
brands. This is in conict with expectations that business students would have
signicant knowledge of Halal-certied brands.
ANOVA for brand knowledge on Halal certication based on emirates of residence
showed no signicant difference in the means of the various groups (emirates of
residence) as indicated by the F-statistics although the mean varied from 2.07 for Dubai
residents to 3.08 for others. It was found that the mean rating for brand knowledge is
the lowest in Dubai in contradiction to H2 that business students residing in Dubai
show higher awareness of brands with Halal certication.
ANOVA for brand knowledge based on age group indicated no signicant
difference in the means of the different groups. This does not support H4 that business
students in the age group of 18-25 years show higher awareness of brands with Halal
certication. The group with the highest mean rating was 33-40 years (3.00) and the
lowest mean rating was for the age group 15-18 years (0.25).
ANOVA for brand knowledge based on nationalities of the respondents also
returned results that showed no statistical signicance as indicated by the F-statistics.
Arab expatriates predictably showed the highest mean rating for brand knowledge
while UAE nationals showed the lowest mean rating on brand knowledge. This
supports H8 in respect of Arab expatriates that business students who are Arab
expatriates show higher awareness of brands with Halal certication but not in respect
of UAE nationals. This result is explained when we nd that a number of UAE
nationals keep livestock and poultry for their personal use and do not buy meat and
poultry from the shops. Hence they do not require knowledge on meat and poultry
brands.
The t-test showed statistical signicance in the differences of mean for male and
female respondents on brand knowledge on Halal certication at 1 percent level of
signicance. It was found that male respondents showed higher brand knowledge on
Halal certication. This is not consistent with H6, that business students irrespective
of gender show higher awareness of brands with Halal certication. The t-test
also showed statistical signicance in the difference of means for vegetarian and
non-vegetarian respondents at 1 percent level of signicance with non-vegetarians
showing higher brand knowledge on Halal certication.
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Correlation coefcient was computed to show the degree of correlation between
awareness of Halal and the number of brands known (brand knowledge). Higher the
correlation value more the degree of relationship between awareness and brand
knowledge. The highest correlation was found between awareness of poultry and
brand knowledge of poultry while the lowest signicant correlation was for vegetables.
There was no signicant correlation for medicines, beverages and hospitality.
The awareness level can be studied in other way also. That is by relating the level of
awareness with personal variables and observing which group has got more in terms
of percentages with a combination of two variables. For example, among Emirates of
Dubai, 38.9 percent have low awareness and 37.5 percent of same have moderate
awareness whereas among the Emirates of Ajman, 41.7 percent have high awareness
compared to other emirates.
The x
2
test was conducted to nd whether there is any association between
awareness level and emirates of residence. The calculated value of x
2
is 9.476 which
when tested at 5 percent level showed no signicant relationship between awareness
level and emirates. x
2
testing for any association between awareness level and gender
and again also showed no signicant relationship. Similarly the calculated value of x
2
when tested at 5 percent level showed no signicant relationship between awareness
level and age group of respondents. x
2
test also did not nd any signicant association
between awareness level and vegetarian/non-vegetarian respondents. However,
x
2
test showed signicant relationship between awareness level and nationality of
the respondents at 5 percent level of signicance.
The x
2
test conducted to identify any association between brand knowledge and
emirates of residence showed no signicant relationship between brand knowledge and
emirates of residence. Similarly, the test showed no signicant relationship between
brand knowledge and gender. The test did not identify any association between
brand knowledge and age groups of respondents and between brand knowledge and
nationalities of respondents. However, the x
2
test showed signicant relationship
between brand knowledge and vegetarian/non-vegetarian respondents at 1 percent level
of signicance.
In summary, ANOVA for awareness score on Halal certication based on
nationalities showed signicant mean difference in the awareness among the different
groups of nationalities studied at 1 percent level of signicance. The t-test showed
statistical signicance in the differences of mean for male and female respondents on
brand knowledge on Halal certication at 1 percent level of signicance. Again the
t-test showed statistical signicance in the difference of means for vegetarian and
non-vegetarian respondents at 1 percent level of signicance. The highest correlation
was found between awareness of poultry and brand knowledge of poultry while the
lowest signicant correlation was for vegetables. x
2
test showed signicant
relationship between awareness level and nationality at 5 percent level of
signicance. The x
2
test showed signicant relationship between brand knowledge
and vegetarian/non-vegetarian respondents at 1 percent level of signicance.
Brands identied as Halal
Appendix 4 lists the brands that have been identied by respondents as Halal. The
number of respondents choosing the brands is indicated in brackets. The research does
not attempt to identify whether the mentioned brands actually exist, or if they carry
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certication
147
Halal certication. The study also does not try to explore if the mentioned brands are
Halal irrespective of not carrying Halal certication.
It is also signicant that retailers such as Carrefour, Spinneys and Choithram are
perceived as carrying Halal products in meat and poultry categories. Barakat Fruit and
Vegetables Co, a wholesaler and retailer in UAE, is perceived to be carrying Halal
vegetables. This company also manufactures fresh juice locally under the brand name
of Barakat. Another aspect of Halal is that a number of respondents said that they
bought livestock and slaughtered them under personal supervision. Other respondents
also bought unbranded meat from the local butcheries and supermarkets. Hence both
these segments did not seek Halal brands in meat and poultry.
Qualitative analysis. The respondents were asked to comment on the open-ended
statement: for me, Halal certication is. The replies suggested that apart from being
necessary from the religious viewpoint, most respondents identied Halal status of
products and services by the Halal sign or certied logo, stamp of ministry and stamp
of municipality. It might be of interest to marketers that some of the respondents
thought products from Islamic countries to be Halal. Fruits and vegetables were
perceived to be always Halal.
Recommendations and marketing implications
Advertising has traditionally been used to develop brand identities by stimulating
awareness and perception (Fill, 2009). Keeping this in mind, the brands which are
Halal should actively promote Halal certication in their products and services and
those which are not may like to use this opportunity to seek Halal certication.
The following guidelines emerge from the research:
(1) Recommendation to Halal-certied marketers:
.
communicate this point of differentiation through advertising;
.
communicate this point of differentiation through packaging; and
.
create social media pages, e.g. Facebook to promote this point of
differentiation.
(2) Recommendations to marketers using Halal methods but not having
certications:
.
get the formal Halal certication seal;
.
communicate this new difference through advertisements;
.
communicate this new difference through package changes; and
.
communicate this new difference through freely available social media.
(3) Recommendations to companies catering to the vegetarian markets:
.
communicate this difference in products and ingredients to the
non-vegetarian particularly the Halal following population; and
.
inform source to vegetarian consumers not using products with gelatin, etc.
as they perceive it be of animal origin.
Marketers can capture benets from markets after Halal certications by choosing to
communicate a combination of positioning recommended for different target market
segments (Table I).
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In Table II, focused attempt is made to help marketers create micro-segments of
markets and adapt their products/services accordingly.
Scope for future research. Apart from the areas indicated by the
*
sign relating to
non-Halal followers and others who are indifferent to the Halal paradigm, there is
further scope for research using bigger samples and investigating other categories
such as Halal nance and agriculture also. The research scope may also be widened to
study vegetarian population.
5. Conclusion
It is evident from the literature review that there are many existing brands in various
categories mentioned above. However, the ndings of the study indicate that the
communication from the marketer is denitely not reaching its audience. The marketer
is not using the differentiator as a method to convey their unique selling proposition of
having Halal certication and communicating the benets to position the organization
in the customers mind. If Halal can be the differentiating factor and all it needs is being
certied then the marketer who qualify, should seek certication and those who do not
qualify can make appropriate changes to their products to enable them to seek
certication and associated benets.
Non-vegetarian Vegetarian
Adding Halal
certication
I
Origin under proper Halal conditions
II
Emphasise plant origin
Gelatin from animal source except pork Articial gelatine
Colours used from natural source Colours used from natural source
Genetically not modied Free from alcohol content
Free from alochol content Prefer free from animal source
Animal source except pork
No Halal
certication
IV
Do not mind from any source
Colours from any source
No special preference either ways to
genetic modication
Alcohol content is not an issue
III
No special preference either ways to
genetic modication
Emphasise on the source if from
plant origin or articially
synthesized
Table I.
Positioning choice
for marketers
to communicate
Preferences Non-vegetarians
Products/services Halal followers Non-Halal followers Vegetarians Vegetarian sh Others
Meat
p
*
NA NA
*
Poultry
p
*
NA
* *
Fruits
p
*
p p
*
Vegetables
p
*
p p
*
Chocolates
p
*
p p
*
Medicines
p
*
p p
*
Cosmetics
p
*
p p
*
Beverages
p
*
p p
*
Hospitality
p
*
p p
*
Note: The symbol
*
indicates scope for further research
Table II.
Markets which
can be captured after
Halal certication
Halal
certication
149
So from oil to soil, port to transport, pack to rack it is all about Halal and the
marketer who cannot only provide it but also communicate it to the consumer who
stands to be a winner.
References
Cravens, D.W. and Piercy, N.F. (2006), Strategic Marketing, 8th ed., McGraw-Hill,
New York, NY, p. 217.
Fill, C. (2009), Marketing Communications: Interactivity, Communities and Content, 5th ed.,
Prentice-Hall, Harlow, p. 498.
Gulf Marketing Review (2009), Nestle Halal ranges to go mass market, December, p. 25.
Halal Expo (2008), Halal Expo 2008 Post Show Report, Dubai.
Henni, A. and Canty, D. (2009), Titan Chemicals produces Halal polyolens, available at: www.
arabianoilandgas.com/article-5970-titan_chemicals_produces_Halal_polyolens/
Khaleej Times (2009), Halal Expo 2009 caps off impressive run with record sales, visitors,
Khaleej Times, available at: www.khaleejtimes.com/darticlen.asp?xledata/business/
2009/November/business_November604.xmlandsectionbusiness
Patton, D. (2009), Could Halal cosmetics be developing into a new global C and T niche
market?, available at: www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/story.asp?storyCode3706 (accessed
28 May 2009).
Roberts, J. (2010), Young, connected and Muslim, Marketing Week, available at: www.
marketingweek.co.uk/in-depth-analysis/cover-stories/young-connected-and-muslim/
3014934.article (accessed 18 November 2010).
Schiffman, L. and Kanuk, L. (2009), Consumer Behavior, 9th ed., Prentice-Hall, New York, NY,
p. 394.
Too, D. (2010), Brunei drafts worlds 1st Halal drugs rules, available at: www.Brudirect.com
Trout, J. (2002), Differentiate or Die, East West Books Madras, Private Limited, Chennai,
p. 71.
Further reading
CCM (2008), Forefront of the Halal Pharmaceutical Industry, 13 May.
Cooper, D. and Schindler, P. (2003), Business Research Methods, 8th ed., Tata McGraw-Hill,
New Delhi.
Harris Interactive Group (2009), How Many Vegetarians are There?, available at: www.vrg.org/
press/2009poll.htm
Hinton, P. (1995), SPSS Explained, 2nd ed., Routledge, London.
Khawaja, M. (2001), Part of transcript of the talk given by President of Halal Food
Authority at Meat and Livestock Commission, Milton Keynes Seminar, Milton Keynes,
6 October.
Malhotra, N. (2004), Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation, 4th ed., Prentice-Hall, London.
Ruwaida, A.S.A. (2008), UAE-rules and regulations governing, the accreditation of Islamic
associations, in foreign countries, paper presented at the World Halal Conference and
Exhibition, Abu Dhabi.
Sekaran, U. (2006), Research Methods for Business, 4th ed., Wiley, New Delhi.
Springwise.com (2009), Halal cosmetics for women, available at: http://springwise.com/
fashion_beauty/onepure/ (accessed 17 January 2010).
JIMA
2,2
150
Web sites
www.arabianbusiness.com/584652-new-guide-launched-for-Halal-travellers
www.ccm.com.my/mediaCentre/press_arc.asp?intRecordID130
www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/story.asp?storyCode3706
www.dagangHalal.com/Halal-info/Halal-Info.asp
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6653175.stm
http://74.125.153.132/search?qcache, www.Halalfoodauthority.co.uk/dene.html
http://news.alibaba.com/article/detail/food/100207499-1-Halal-expo-2009-hosts-80.html
www.eturbonews.com/2059/islamic-hotels-demand-mid-east
www.euro-islam.info/2009/05/25/iphone-application-helps-american-muslims-eat-Halal-on-
the-go/
www.foodanddrinkinsight.com/le/71653/masa-targets-gulf-premium-market.html
www.halalmc.net/
www.merckchemicals.com/Halal/c_WZCb.s1O3DEAAAEdFzoMDoYL?CountryName
InternationalandInternationalSitetrue
www.onepureonline.com/index.htm
www.uaeconnector.com/index.cfm?fuseactionPortal.ShowPageandDetailyesandpag
eId224andcategoryId100andid11390andcatid25andlangId1andUplevel0and
GBID15
Appendix 1
No. Exhibitor prole % No. Visitors classication by product of interest %
1 Halal food and beverages 31 1 Halal food 26
2 Halal non-food 20 2 Halal hospitality 15
3 Associations 17 3 Halal poultry 13
4 Media 11 4 Halal beverages 13
5 Halal food services/equipments 9 5 Halal meat 9
6 Halal logistics 4 6 Islamic banking and nance 8
7 Islamic banking 4 7 Halal cosmetics and body care 6
8 Islamic hospitality 2 8 Halal health care 4
9 Food packaging 2 9 Halal logistics 3
Halal ingredients 3
Table AI.
Exhibitor prole and
visitors classication by
product of interest
(Halal Post Show Report)
Halal
certication
151
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
n Correlation Sig.
Meat-Halal certication in and brand knowledge meat 151 0.318
* *
Poultry and poultry 151 0.361
* *
Fruits and fruits 151 0.237
* *
Vegetables and vegetables 151 0.179
*
Chocolates and chocolates 151 0.189
*
Medicines and medicines 151 0.124 NS
Cosmetics and cosmetics 151 0.284
* *
Beverages and beverages 151 0.144 NS
Hospitality and hospitality 151 0.094 NS
Awareness score on Halal certication and brand knowledge on Halal
certication 151 0.199
*
Table AIII.
Correlations
Always Sometimes Never
Meat n 87 28 36
% 57.6 18.5 23.8
Poultry n 85 28 38
% 56.3 18.5 25.2
Fruits n 31 22 98
% 20.5 14.6 64.9
Vegetables n 29 23 99
% 19.2 15.2 65.6
Chocolates n 33 37 81
% 21.9 24.5 53.6
Medicines n 28 37 86
% 18.5 24.5 57.0
Cosmetics n 30 28 93
% 19.9 18.5 61.6
Beverages n 54 31 66
% 35.8 20.5 43.7
Hospitality n 33 37 81
Table AII.
Awareness of Halal
certication looking for
Halal certication
JIMA
2,2
152
Appendix 4
Corresponding author
Sitalakshmi Ramanan can be contacted at: seetu123@gmail.com
Products/
services Brands
Meat Sadia (20), Islami (15), Americana (10), Al Kabeer (13), Spinneys (2), Carrefour (4),
Rawda, Al rotha, open Indian meat, Jazeerah, Fresh, Choithram (2), Emborg,
Al Khaleej (3), Halal (1), Spinneys (2), Doux (1), Saudi (1), Sadaf, Perdix (2)
Poultry Sadia (24), Islami (8), Rawda (4), Watania (3), Spinneys (3), Al Kabeer (9), Carrefour (3),
Doux (3), Americana (3), Al tazag, Omega, Al rotha, Al Taawun, Emborg, Choithram (2),
Salwan (1), Al Ain (2), Al Marai (4), Farouj, Perdix, Nada (1), Marmum (2), Al Rawabi (2)
Fruits Fresh, strawberry
Vegetables Barakat, Chiquita
Chocolates Kit Kat (6), Galaxy (6), Twix (6), Bounty, Mars (3), Kinder, Twirl, Flake, Galaxy (3),
Snickers, Prince, Ferro Rocher (3), Tola, Godiva, Cadbury (5), Nestle, Toblerone,
Hershey (2), Patchi, Hersheys, Twister, Guy Lian, Patchi
Medicines Julphar, Pzar, Panadol (4), Actied, Brufen, Crocin
Cosmetics Dior (3), Calvin Klein, Mikyaji, Eve Sanloran, Zegna, Vaseline, Adidas, Lancome, MF,
Body Shop (2), Olay (2), Nivea (3), Rasasi, D&G
Beverages Red bull (3), Holsten (2), Pepsi (7), Safa (1), Alain, Barakat, Coffee, Budweiser, Vitamic C,
Barbican, Lacnor, Coke (1), Almarai & Marmum, Starbucks coffee, Mountain dew (5),
Costa Coffee, Seven-up (1), Shani (2), Mirinda
Hospitality Rotana (2), Sheraton, Ramada, Tamani, Concord, Taj Palace, Hilton, Four point
Table AIV.
Brands identied as Halal
Halal
certication
153
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