According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022, “Muslim spend on food increased by 6.9% in 2021, from US$1.19 trillion to US$1.27 trillion, and is expected to grow by 7.0% in 2022 and reach US$1.67 trillion in 2025 at a 4-year CAGR of 7.1%”.
Meanwhile, the Global Halal Food Market Report 2022 reports that “the market is projected to reach US$ 3,907.7 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.24% during 2022-2027”.
The term “Halal food” refers to food products and beverages that are prepared strictly in accordance with Islamic dietary laws. The utensils used to store and package halal food items are thoroughly cleaned in accordance with the prescribed guidelines.
As halal food items have evolved from an identification mark of religious observation to assurance of food safety, hygiene, and reliability, they have gained interest even from non-Muslim consumers over the past few years.
With an increase in demand, manufacturers have broadened their product portfolio by introducing several value-added food items. This offers an opportunity for you as a retailer or halal restaurant owner to broaden the spectrum of offers to Muslim and non-Muslim consumers.
Answering Questions from Muslims
Today, Muslim consumers are more inquisitive about halal food. Some even walk around with apps on their phones that list ingredients that are permissible in Islam and those that are not. So whatever type of halal food business you run, be ready for questions.
Questions may be about:
- Validation: “do you have halal certification?”
- Detail: “are the monoglycerides plant-based?”,
- Exaggerated concerns: “do you use pork fat when cooking?”.
Answering Non-Muslim Consumer Questions
Based on the most popular Google Queries, non-Muslims who may be contemplating consuming halal food may ask:
- What exactly does the halal method of animal slaughter involve?
- Is halal meat inhumane?
- Is there a modern-day humanitarian benefit to halal food?
- What are the health benefits of eating halal meat?
- Is halal food intended for Muslims only?
- Why isn’t halal meat banned in the US as animal cruelty?
- Can a person tell (only by taste) if they are eating halal foods?
- Is halal food a form of the Islamization of the West?
- Why is halal good for everybody, not just Muslims?
As you may have noticed there is a wide range of interest in halal food by non-Muslims online. Becoming a source of authentic and useful information will attract attention to your halal food brand.
Yes, some of the attention may be negative. However, this negativity is clearly due to a lack of understanding and knowledge about the halal food industry. Some of it is fueled by negative campaigning by extreme political groups.
In another article, we will discuss how to deal with negativity around halal food. But first, make sure your halal food brand is ready to answer the questions of those who genuinely want to know more about halal food, be it Muslims or non-Muslims.
Here’s why you need to post about your halal food business on social media:
- According to a survey conducted by OnePoll, 33% of users post pictures of their food on social media. The numbers are higher with millennials at 69%.
- Meanwhile, 53% of the 2000 respondents say that they have been inspired to try a recipe after seeing it on their social media feed or timeline.
- While a staggering 85% percent of respondents admit that they have experienced cravings for foods they’ve seen on social media.
Promoting Your Halal Food Business on Social Media Effectively
Here is what you need to do for your halal food social media campaigns to be effective:
- Use social media to explain the added value of the halal food you offer, be it frozen food, restaurant cuisines, or fresh meat. Customers love knowing about nutrition facts, that your cow herd is 100% grass-fed, or that you only use produce from local farmers.
- Consistently post a variety of topics surrounding your halal food business. This will help widen your reach with time. The caveat is that organic reach is quite limited on most social media platforms so you need to invest in paid social media. Keep a consistent brand style for brand recognition.
- Most consumers trust reviews from food bloggers on social media so work with upcoming and micro-influencers. Don’t go for the most established ones as they can be quite expensive.
Foodstagramming for Your Halal Food Business
Instagramming food, commonly called ‘foodstagramming’, is extremely popular, which has led to popular hashtags such as “#foodie” (2.15 billion posts) and “#instafood (2.20 billion posts).
If your halal food business is a halal restaurant or cafe, you can save a good bit of money by making the atmosphere and presentation instaworthy (nice enough for customers to want to foodstagram). The user-generated content you earn is even more appealing and authentic to the masses than anything you would post.
This does not mean that you do not have to do any work yourself. Hire a professional photographer to create an array of images for social media promotion. Every now and then take photos with your phone for a more personal touch. This is a good way of generating an appetite for your halal food offers regardless of the type of business you are in.
While we have only scratched the surface about the opportunities of promoting your halal food business on Instagram, there is more; not only from Instagram but also from other social media platforms.
Although as a halal food business your search and display ad campaigns will follow the same steps as your usual pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns if you really want to get the best out of the PPC campaigns you need to go local.
Local PPC campaigns can give your halal food business a huge revenue boost if you know how to finely target the right local halal-food-seeking audiences.
If you are a halal restaurant, take-away, delivery, butchery, a grocery, or any other type of halal food business, it is paramount to your success that your target audience within the vicinity know about your business and make a significant part of your clientele.
Google Ads’ Local PPC Tactics for Halal Food Businesses
Narrow Your Audience Down
Narrow your ad audience down to those who are more likely to buy after seeing your ad by targeting a specific radius based on state, county, zip code, city, or immediate local radius.
Use Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are a great way to highlight what you offer at a specific location of your business. It could be a local cuisine or a special offer for a local traditional day. Whatever it is, ad extensions give you that extra room for creativity.
Social Media Tactics to Supplement Your Local Google Ads
Snap Chat Geofilters
Snapchat Geofilters are a great way to build local brand awareness. You can create a free geographical filter for your business.
If your halal food business relies on local markets and engagement, you should run branded “Geofilters” in tandem with your local PPC ads to grow your brick-and-mortar foot traffic.
Facebook Proximity Ads
Facebook allows you to set the radius of your Facebook ads to show to local audiences only. This way you can easily segment your local campaigns from your broader ones.
Facebook proximity ads trigger specifically when a mobile user is within your radius. You can use them to promote special deals specific to your area. They are very well-suited for local consumers browsing through their Facebook news feeds.
Using paid advertising is a great way to get your halal food business the relevant eyeballs to gain customers. However, unless you have a bottomless pit of financial resources, it is not sustainable without proper search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO helps you to rank on search engines organically and even more essential for success is local SEO, if your halal food business is a brick and mortar like a restaurant, butchery, supermarket, etc.
Let’s look at some quick tips for local SEO. For the sake of clarity and consistency, we will use a halal restaurant for referral but the tips are valid for any type of halal food business that you are running.
Define Your Business Geographical Area
- Define the geographic area where you expect most of your customers to come from.
- Research keyword terms and phrases your customers use.
- Group the terms and classify them properly keeping in mind the different levels of competition.
Let’s look at what a keyword grouping for your halal restaurant would look like:
Halal restaurant Arizona
High search volume + high competition
Halal grill restaurant Arizona
Medium search volume + medium competition
The Halal Guys Arizona
Medium search volume* + low competition
*The search volume for the brand term will vary drastically depending on popularity.
The question is not which type of keyword/phrase type to optimize for search engines. You may need to optimize for all types. What’s important is knowing which types to put more effort into.
Claim Your Halal Restaurant Name on Local Search
Work on claiming and optimizing listings for your halal restaurant across all of the major and relevant local search platforms.
Think of search directories, social media sites, and food industry directory sites. Most importantly, make sure that you claim your halal restaurant business on Google My Business. It may be that your restaurant is not listed and may need to add it on Google Maps.
Using standard and accurate NAP (name, address, phone) information that is consistent across the web is a critical foundational element of local SEO.
Apart from Google My Business, there are a few directories that matter more than others and that’s where you should start:
- Yellow pages
- Niche review websites like Halal Food Guy and Zabihah
Localize Your Content
Make sure you provide enough local context to potential customers and search engines when explaining your restaurant’s location and specialization.
So, if you have a restaurant chain serving multiple locations, write content tailored to the local history, neighborhood, and community engagement.
While doing so, make sure you do not use unofficial names that only the local folk know as this may confuse search engines and out-of-town visitors.
Sometimes the search engines and out-of-town visitors don’t fully understand the unofficial names of neighborhoods and areas. So provide content that is relevant to the local community but at the same time helps those who come from outside the local community.