The next edition of Alimentaria, which will be held from 20th to 23rd April at the Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue, will expand the exhibition space dedicated to halal foods, and will increase the number and visibility of participating companies specialising in this type of food. In addition, it will also host the third edition of the Halal Congress, which will include international experts and some cooking shows.
With little less than a year to go before Alimentaria 2020, the presence of Halal-certified products, those allowed by Islamic law, at the event is expected to be one of the booming trends and is being positively viewed in the international market. The halal food and beverage sector continues to grow unstoppably around the world with 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, a figure that will reach 2.2 billion by 2030. Of these, more than 60% are currently under 30 years of age.
The number of companies specialising in halal goods is expected to increase with respect to Alimentaria 2018 due to the growing activity of companies in the halal sector from all over the world, from the Middle East to Latin America and also Europe, where the increase in tourists from Muslim countries has led to a rise in halal products mainly in the hotel and catering sector.
Expo Halal will be part of the new Alimentaria Trends trade show
As in its last edition, Alimentaria 2020 will feature Expo Halal, a specific space dedicated to offering these types of foods and beverages, although it will now be part of Alimentaria Trends, a new trade show aimed at showing the latest food trends in ecological, diet, functional and gourmet products, as well as halal products.
At Alimentaria 2018, Expo Halal brought together 25 national and international companies in a 700 m2 space, although another 150 exhibitor companies offered Halal-certified products in other spaces of the fair, such as Dulcesol, Europastry, Industrias Cárnicas Viñals, or Mercabarna, among others. Furthermore, 20% of the international buyers invited by the organisation had halal products in their portfolios, and 11% of all visitors to the trade show stated that they were interested in this product segment.
Alimentaria 2020 will also host the third edition of its Halal Congress, in which international speakers specialising in this sector will participate. Javier Albarracín, CEO of Barcelona Halal Services, a company that collaborates with Alimentaria in the organisation of the Halal Congress, highlights “the strategic position of Barcelona, which is establishing itself as an exceptional hub for bringing together Gulf and Latin American countries, where halal consumption is growing exponentially, is essential for bringing together the major players in the sector”.
Albarracín also points out the role of the trade show as one of the major international events in spreading information about halal. “In Europe alone, the volume of halal business is more than €70 billion, and it is estimated that the Muslim population in this continent increases 1% each decade”.
There is also greater demand for these types of products from non-Muslim consumers who are looking for organic, gourmet, and healthier food, and who rely on Halal certification as a guarantee of quality and traceability.
Large- and medium-sized international companies, certifiers, experts, and even halal influencers from different countries, will come together at Alimentaria to create synergies, do business, and publicise this booming sector, whose main areas of business in Europe are in the United Kingdom and France (with more than four million Muslims each), Germany and Belgium.
In addition, chefs from different countries will participate in cooking shows in which they will demonstrate that halal cuisine goes far beyond Arab recipes, and that dishes can be prepared from the most diverse approaches. In the 2020 edition, the particularities of the South African and Thai halal cuisines will be explored in greater depth by chefs such as Philippine chef Laila Bazahm, who has already confirmed her presence.
An expanding business
“Food and beverage spending in the Muslim world will reach 21.2% of the global total, €2.2 billion, in 2019, with processed foods the products in greatest demand (33%), followed by products of animal origin (17%)”, says Anwar El Mezwaghi, President of Ambar Connect, an Alimentaria 2020 partner company in the organisation of Expo Halal, which works in direct contact with the majority of halal producers around the world.
In this sense, “85% of the animals and meat consumed in Muslim countries comes from countries that do not belong to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC)”, indicates El Mezwaghi, which means there is plenty of room for international expansion for a sector in full growth. El Mezwaghi also underlines that halal goes far beyond meat, and that there is a range of products in different areas, from other food sectors to fashion or cosmetics: “The high participation of exhibitors and buyers that belong to other sectors, such as sweets, confectionery, and non-alcoholic beverages, gives us an idea of the wide variety of products and opportunities in the halal markets”.