Muslim consumer trends to Europe

In recent years, identity (cultural and religious) is emerging as an important factor in certain consumer decisions. The high development of the Muslim friendly segment, both in Europe and globally, it must be context in this trend.

The Muslim population has grown in the last years (2,200 million in 2030, 26% of the world population), and a significant part of it has a relevant purchasing power. This combination means that the understanding and adapting to these consumers has been a business objective for more companies and brands from different sectors.

As a result of the new economic dynamics of 2020, there’s an intensification of certain patterns of Muslim consumers in Europe, where more than 25 million Muslims live, representing 7% of the continent's population.

Thus, European companies interested in Muslim consumers are inevitably rediscovering the advantages of local markets. Both due to the reliability of logistic accessibility and the fear and uncertainty of the current situation, local consumers are being revalued. Halal products and services (that is, adapted to Muslim-friendly consumption) are finding significant business opportunities in the consumers from France, Belgium, Germany, Spain or Great Britain. 

The idiosyncrasy of these European markets, however, requires an increasing sophistication of halal products: those are mature, complex, sophisticated and competitive in this segment. Muslim friendly indigenous products from these markets have a high added value, as they are aimed at demanding, cosmopolitan, national consumers with purchasing power. Therefore, if our halal products want to compete in these markets they have to be able to differentiate themselves from the existing national offer. Halal certification is no longer enough, it is essential and it has to go further.

It is essential to understand that it must be the highest quality products, not substitutes. They have to incorporate modern messages, values and narratives, both in development and marketing strategies, such as respect for the environment and sustainability, social justice or healthy benefits (bio, organic...). This concept (Tayyib) is increasingly demanded and appreciated by European Muslim consumers.

Likewise, in order to gain visibility and acceptance among European Muslim consumers, it is necessary to make use of their usual communication tools: digital. The use of social networks (some specialized), the leading bloggers and influencers’ involvement, the identification of specialized shopping platforms and participation in digital events are the most efficient tools to reach and impact this growing sophisticated, cosmopolitan, digital native and high-earning capacity consumer, specially nowadays.

In Europe, the Muslim friendly consumer represents around 80,000-100,000 million euros/year, according to various sources, with sustained growth in recent years and significant projections in the future. Understanding, adapting and accessing this local consumer segment will be the key in the uncertain years ahead.

Javier Albarracín
Barcelona Halal Services

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