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Understanding the commercial habits of Muslims

Looking ahead into the future is of paramount importance for any organization that wants to stay on the top in their field of business. Today’s forecasts, business research are tomorrow’s profits. While all business school teaches this the message seems to have been lost in the majority of business. The organizations that do pay attention to the trend, and try to plan for the future come out as successful.

Islam guides about 2 billion people around the world and in United States there are growing numbers of people who are following the teachings of Islam. Understanding Islam and its followers will be a critical piece of strategy that no organization can ignore. This is my attempt at making it a bit more clear for people and organizations that want to grow or do business for/with Muslim community in the United States.

How different are Muslims? What can you do to make Muslims feel more welcomed and satisfied in doing business with you? These are the questions I will try and answer with my blogs.

Muslims are follower of the Islam; they believe that; “there is only one God and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his messanger”. Muslims are guide in their daily life by the set of laws listed in the Holy Quran. This blog is too small to cover all of these laws. At a very high level; you could say that Allah has listed as law the commonsense and best practice of any society, along with a wealth of information from astrology, medicine, Biology, physiology and much much more.

To understand the commercial habits of Muslims you have to understand that Muslims have prohibition to do certain things. The things that are prohibited are referred as “haraam”. For example, some foods ingredients that are considered haraam are:

Meat from swine: Any product that has directly or indirectly been extracted from pig/swine is forbidden.
Alcohol: Intoxicating beverages or items are forbidden from consumption.
BONE PHOSPHATE – E542: An anti-caking agent made from the degreased steam-extract from animal bones.
COCHINEAL/CARMINE – E120, E122: A red dyestuff consisting of dried bodies of female cochineal insects. Note: E124 Ponceau 4R is acceptable although it is sometimes known as Cochineal Red A.
GELATINE: Gelatine is an odorless, tasteless, protein substance like glue or jelly, obtained by boiling the bones, hoofs, and other waste parts of animals. Vegetarian alternatives such as Agar Agar and Gelozone exist.
GLYCERINE – E422: May be produced from animal fats, synthesized from propylene or from fermentation of sugars.
L-CYSTEINE: A flavor and improving agent manufactured from animal hair and chicken feathers.
MAGNESIUM STEARATE: May be made from animal fat. Often found in medicines.
RENNET (ANIMAL): An enzyme taken from the stomach of a newly killed calf used in the cheese making process. Vegetarian cheese is produced using microbial or fungal enzymes, or chymosin.
VANILLA EXTRACT: Vanilla is a plant product. It is extracted with alcohol as the solvent of choice, from the vanilla bean and is normally kept in a solution containing alcohol. If you examine at a bottle of vanilla extract, you will find it lists alcohol as an ingredient, along with the percentage of alcohol.
WHEY: During cheese making, a coagulum is formed by clotting milk with rennet. When the coagulum is cut, a watery liquid known as whey is released and drained off leaving the curd to be salted and further processed into cheese. Whey contains water, fat, protein, lactose, minerals and lactic acid. Cream, butter, cheese, drinks, syrups and powder are some of the products made from whey.
SHELLAC E904: a resin from the lac insect
EMULSIFIERS (E470 to E483): haraam if obtained from pork or non-halal sources.

There are some sections of Muslims who may have more food products (some seafood) that they would want to add to this list but I will not cover them in this post.

In my next post, I will cover Halal Finance and give some examples of how commercial transactions are conducted under Islamic guidelines.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.islamforlife.co.uk

http://muslimpopulation.com/

AMCC: A Look Back at Our Accomplishments

Over the last three years a small group of part time volunteers have worked tirelessly to conduct the American Muslim Consumer Conference. Since its launch in 2009, we have received many positive feedback and everyone who so far attended the conference gave us kudos for arranging a professional event which is much needed for the growing Muslim Community. We are the only platform which represent American Muslim Consumers and the only platform which helps promote American Muslim businesses and Entrepreneurs.

The objective of AMCC is to “Understand and Address the needs of American Muslim Consumers and promote companies/entrepreneurs who are developing products for this market.

Unlike many Muslim national organizations whose focus has been more social, religious or advocacy, we took this unique initiative to establish a platform which can address Muslim Consumer needs and promote Muslim businesses, products and entrepreneurs. In the last three years of our effort we have achieved the following:

1. Conducted 3 very successful conferences which grew from 200 delegates to 400 delegates

2. We brought more than 30 successful Muslim entrepreneurs who participated in our conferences either as speakers or panelists.

3. We have brought prominent companies who are in Halal food market, Islamic Finance market, Halal travel, Halal Cosmetics, Halal certification and online portals to our platform and have helped them promote their products.

  • Amana Mutual Fund
  • University Islamic Financials
  • Zayan Takaful Insurance
  • DinarStandard
  • Crescentrating
  • One Pure Cosmetics
  • Saffron Road Food
  • Crescent Food
  • Midamar Food
  • Zabihah.com
  • Islamic Food and Nutrition Council
  • Islamic Services of America
  • Halal advocates of America
  • Muxlim
  • Azizah Magazine
  • Muslim Consumer Group
  • Edible Arrangements International Inc.
  • American Halal Association

4. We have created an awareness of the American Muslim Consumer Market by establishing active partnership, alliances with many mainstream companies.

  • Miles Young, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, one of the largest advertising and marketing agencies was a key note speaker at 2nd annual conference
  • Dr. Mehmood Khan, CEO of Nutritional Products, Pepsico was one of our speaker at 2nd annual conference
  • Marketing Directors of Best Buy, Walmart have also attended our conference as speakers

5. Two research reports were published and launched at our conferences.

  • Ogilvy released a research report “A little Empathy goes a long way, How brands can engage American Muslim Consumer” at 2nd annual conference in 2010.
  • DinarStandard’s in depth study titled, “American Muslim Market: Business Landscape & Consumer Needs” released at 3rd annual conference in 2011. DinarStandard is a prominent global Muslim market research and advisory firm specializing in the emerging Muslim markets.

6. We have established a presence in social media space and all the promotion of our conferences has been through social media with minimal budget. We have also used social media to aggregate and distribute Muslim consumer related news.

7. Coverage of AMCC in mainstream media and focused media. The second conference was covered by Associated Press which was distributed to 350 major media outlets.

8. In the last three years we have seen Halal meat available in Costco, select Shoprite stores in Pennsylvania, select Walmart stores in Illinois and Michigan, Halal frozen packaged food available in Whole Foods, and acknowledgement of Eid al-Adha festival by Best Buy in their marketing brochures

9. Launch of the Entrepreneurship Showcase. Since its launch in 2010, we have received applications from more than 50 small companies and so far 9 companies were selected to present their business plan to a panel of successful entrepreneurs. This has become the most popular session in our conference and has been compared to the popular show Shark Tank.

These achievements in such a short duration have been possible due to the dedication and creativity of many volunteers who are helping to advance the objective and vision of AMCC.

Ogilvy & Mather to Receive 2011 Multicultural Award at the Third Annual American Muslim Consumer Conference

Based on the work in the American Muslim Consumer market and the 2010 research report, “A little empathy goes a long way: How brands can engage the American Muslim consumer”, the 2011 Multicultural Award will be presented to Ogilvy & Mather.

WEBWIRE – Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ogilvy & Mather will be awarded the 2011 Multicultural Award at the third annual American Muslim Consumer Conference (AMCC), which will be held on October 29th, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick, NJ.

The AMCC event, in its third year, promotes dialog and raises awareness of this multicultural niche market where many mainstream companies are now seeing a growing opportunity.

AMCC presents a multicultural award every year to a company which promotes diversity and multiculturalism and is inclusive to all minorities in America. Based on the work in the American Muslim Consumer market and the 2010 research report by Ogilvy & Mather, “A little empathy goes a long way: How brands can engage the American Muslim consumer”, AMCC will be presenting the 2011 Multicultural award to Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world’s leading advertising and marketing agencies. The award will be received by Nazia Hussain Du Bois, Director of Global Cultural Strategy, Ogilvy & Mather. The 2010 Multicultural award was presented to Best Buy (NYSE: BBY).

Since the launch of its first event in 2009, the American Muslim Consumer Conference (AMCC) has been working to understand and address the needs of American Muslim Consumers and promoting companies and entrepreneurs who are developing products for this market.

The conference is held annually attracting over 350 to 400 diverse attendees from community members and leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals, and marketing and advertising executives.This year’s speakers include executives from Edible Arrangements, Walmart, Midamar Corporation, Best Buy, and Thomson Reuters among others.

Meet the Companies Selected for the 2011 Entrepreneur Showcase

We are very excited about this year’s entrepreneurs’ showcase session at the 2011 American Muslim Consumer Conference!

Every year, we look for companies, entrepreneurs and outstanding candidates to present their business, product, or service which are benefiting the American-Muslim consumer, either directly or as a byproduct. During this session, the selected candidates present to the audience and a panel of experts who provide guidance on furthering their company’s growth and exposure. Check out the videos from last year’s Entrepreneur Showcase here.

We received numerous submissions across a number of industries and went through a rigorous application review process to select the best candidates. For your reference, below are the four selected presenters.

Good Earth Potato

Good Earth Potato is a healthy fast food franchise concept that uses the naturally nutritious potato as a foundation for a large variety of healthy toppings. Good Earth Potato also specializes in build your own fresh chopped salad using high quality fresh local ingredients and produce. Their mission is to provide consumers a healthy dining alternative, one community at a time.

ModernEID

modernEID is an online resource for contemporary party and gift products for the Eid holidays. Our products make it easy to decorate your home and celebrate the holidays in a coordinated and fun way. At modernEID, you will find goods for dressing up your home, packaging your presents, and styling your Eid celebrations.

Salik Productions

Salik Productions develops Islamic Applications for mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry. The application portfolio includes a sophisticated Quran learning application called myQuran which has a global user base and has a 5-Star rating on the Apple AppStore. Salik Productions has also recently launched a global application called myMasjid which allows communities to better communicate and stay in touch with their Masjids and tracks events, services etc. Salik Productions, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Magnicode, Inc which develops custom apps for a broad range of clients.

naTRUssential

naTRUssential Natural Lifestyle company is a subsidiary of Essential Health International, LLC a minority-owned, Solon, OH based direct sales company of earth-friendly, health and wellness products. naTRUssential supports women who want to nurture their passion, potential and purpose by creating an empowering community and environment.

P.S. If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, I just wanted to remind you that the early bird registration for $110 ends tomorrow, so get your ticket now and take advantage of the discount!

We look forward to seeing you in just a few weeks!

 

August Newsletter: Featuring NoorVitamins, Noor Kids

AMCC features a company every week on its social media outlets (FacebookLinkedin and Twitter) promoting products or companies which are meeting the growing needs of American Muslim Consumers. Companies/Products featured in the month of August are:

NoorVitamins

Halal vitamins – NoorVitamins specializes in developing high quality halal vitamins, pure halal vitamins and dietary supplements for Muslim consumer. Our mission is to provide the Muslim community with the highest quality Halal vitamins and supplements in order to promote a healthy and Halal lifestyle. “We balance science and Islam in order to provide our consumers Halal vitamins and nutritional supplements of unsurpassed quality and value.”

Noor Kids

Today, our children face new challenges that previous Muslim generations have not. Noor Kids tries to solve these problems through our fun and exciting activity books. Their mission is to engage new generation of Muslim children in North America with Islamic knowledge, Muslim culture, and American integration through positive and playful Muslim American characters. Mohammed Aaser a graduate of Harvard Business School co-founded with his brother Amin.


At AMCC we keep a pulse on the Muslim Consumer market. These articles which were on major media outlets talk about opportunities and the growing demand in the Muslim Consumer market:

Can the headscarf be high street as well as haute couture?

Fashion is constantly looking for new influences, and is shaped by grassroots trends, as well as different cultures. It is a global phenomenon, and that the rising market is with young Muslim consumers, consumers who make up 11% of the world population, consumers who embrace and fuse together both fashion and faith in order to express their identity.

Neuroscience and the Changing Media Stereotypes of Muslims

Over the last five years, major television dramas such as “Law and Order,” “CSI” and “Grey’s Anatomy” have begun to introduce Muslim characters — and when they do, their ratings tend to increase.

Islamic finance qualifications prove increasingly fashionable

Islamic finance, one of the hottest topics in European and Middle Eastern financial training, is now being adopted in accountancy training too. Cima, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, has launched an Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance, intended for those working in accounting and financial services who want to move into Islamic finance, as well as those already working in the sector who want to broaden their knowledge.

Whole Foods become the first national retail chain to celebrate Ramadan

Whole Foods has become the first prominent supermarket chain to run a Ramadan marketing campaign–and they’re hoping Muslim customers will return the favor as they break fast. Even though Muslims traditionally forego meals during the day, lavish evening Ramadan meals could mean big bucks for the natural foods giant … as well as brand loyalty from a demographic not traditionally courted by megastore advertising

July Newsletter: Featuring Muslim Ad Network, ILLUME Magazine, Whole Foods Market

AMCC features a company every week on its social media outlets (FacebookLinkedin and Twitter) promoting products or companies which are meeting the growing needs of American Muslim Consumers. Companies/Products featured in the month of July are:

Muslim Ad Network

Connecting advertisers with the Muslim market. The digital media is becoming more and more powerful, google ad revenue grows every quarter, groupon very soon will be a multibillion dollar company and the list goes on and on. Tabish Hasan and Saad Ahmed are the two young founders of Muslim Ad Network.

ILLUME Magazine

ILLUME delivers the latest breaking news and information about Muslims and the Muslim World, latest top stories, business, entertainment, politics, and more. For in-depth coverage, ILLUME provides special reports, video, audio, photo galleries, and interactive guides. ILLUME was honored with an award for “quality journalism, balance and fairness in its coverage of the Muslim-American community” from the highly celebrated and highly esteemed National Press Foundation.

Whole Foods Market

Enjoy authentic Pad Thai made with chicken that is Certified Humane by Humane Farm Animal Care and spices that are roasted and ground on site for the best flavor. Saffron Road Halal-certified products are available in Whole Foods market, and the sale of these delicious products also supports Whole Planet Foundation.


At AMCC we keep a pulse on the Muslim Consumer market. These articles which were on major media outlets talk about opportunities and the growing demand in the Muslim Consumer market:

iPhone Apps Designed for Muslim Children

“Suzanne Muir, the founder of “Allah made World” App and Over the Moon Stories. A teacher and children’s author, she’s taken her creativity, skills and knowledge to create educational apps for Muslim children. Officially on her halal hustle and filling a gap that’s needed in a niche Muslim market.

Ireland aims to be home of Islamic finance in Europe

The taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who was swept to power on a wave of public anger at the taxpayers’ €70bn (£62bn) bailout of failed banks, told the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) that he was doing everything he could to “ensure” Dublin became “a centre of excellence for Islamic finances”.

A (Uni)Vision For Life After A Mass Market

Or why not a business catering to a freshly self-conscious, religious submarket—domestic Muslims? Many marketers see them as a small yet promising commercial target. Saffron Road, based in Stamford, Conn., is selling its line of Halal (comporting with Islamic law) frozen entrees in Whole Foods supermarkets.

The next sporty must-have is not just for Muslim women

The ResportOn, a tight-fitting hoodie covering the hair, is the new sports hijab – but it’s attracting orders from non-Muslim women. The ResportOn, whose tagline is “Be yourself. Unveil your performance”, is the brainchild of Iranian-born French-Canadian designer Elham Seyed Javad.

The Power of the American Muslim Consumer

The 3rd annual American Muslim Consumer Conference (AMCC) will be held on Saturday, October 29th at Hotel Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, New Jersey from 9 AM to 5 PM.

We hold this conference annually attracting over 350 to 400 diverse attendees: from community members and leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals, and marketing/advertising/PR executives. Following are confirmed speakers for 2011 AMCC:

  • Tariq Farid - Founder and CEO, Edible Arrangements International
  • Errol Schweizer – Global Grocery Coordinator, Whole Foods Market
  • Layla Mandi - Founder & CEO, OnePure
  • Gwen Kelly - Senior Marketing Manager, Walmart
  • Jalel Aossey - Director, Midamar Corporation
  • Susan Labadi - Editor in Chief, HalalConnect Magazine, American Halal Association
  • Ibrahim Abdul-Matin – Author, “Green Deen”
  • Peter Gould - Designer, Peter-Gould.com
  • Moose Scheib – CEO, LoanMod
  • Kamran Pasha – Screenwriter & Director, Hollywood
  • Maria Ebrahimji – Director & Executive Editorial Producer, CNN Worldwide
  • Adnan Durrani – CEO, American Halal Company, Inc.
  • Abdalhamid Evans - Director, Imarat Consultants
  • Jane Carten - Director & President, Saturna Capital
  • Haroon Mokhtarzada - Co-Founder & CEO, Webs Inc.
  • Nausheena Hussain – Multicultural Marketing, Best Buy
  • Dilawar Syed (Tentative) – President & CEO, Yonja Media Group
  • Rushdi Siddiqui – Global Head, Islamic Finance & OIC Countries Thomson Reuters

Since the launch of first AMCC in 2009, we have been working to understand and address the needs of American Muslim Consumers and promote companies/entrepreneurs who are developing products for this market.

At the 2010 conference, Ogilvy and Mather, one of the leading marketing and advertising agency released a research report on American Muslims called, “A little empathy goes a long way: How brands can engage the American Muslim consumer”. The report revealed that 86% of American Muslim Consumers believe that American Companies “need to make more of an effort to understand Muslim values” but at exactly the same time they are feeling largely ignored by American brands and companies with 98% feeling that “American brands don’t actively reach out to Muslim Consumers”.

The theme of the conference this year will be “Multiculturalism and the American Muslim Consumer Market”. This will be a landmark conference highlighting the opportunities and potential which mark the American Muslim Consumer market as a valuable niche (similar to the Hispanic market a decade ago and today this market stands at $1.4 Trillion).

The purchasing power of American Muslims is estimated to be about $200 Billion annually, however there are very few brands and limited products servicing the need of American Muslims. JWT’s 2007 study of ‘one of America’s biggest hidden niche markets’ revealed that the American Muslim consumers represent “a neglected market with huge potential for brands that are willing to connect with them.”

This consumer landscape can be broken down into two categories. The first, consumer products and services that a Muslim household spends on, that are not unique for Muslim consumers alone, and the second, products and services that are customized for Muslim Consumer unique needs.

The first category is where marketing focus is needed on custom communication, targeted media reach and building loyalty. The second category is where customized Muslim products/services or dedicated business lines are developed.

There are some key questions that arise for marketers in formulating an effective American Muslim marketing strategy. Almost half of the American Muslims are indigenous and the recent immigrant populations are already into their second or third generations. As a result, many consumer behavior aspects are reflective of the general American consumption patterns. From buying cell phones to drinking soft drinks, the American part of their identity prevails. However, a variety of Muslim market specific product categories and levels of customization opportunities do exist.

In recent years we have seen a mainstream company like Best Buy Inc., a major retailer of electronic products, in America launching various marketing communication to target American Muslims. One such communication was acknowledging a Muslim holiday “Eid al-Adha,” for the first time in a national advertisement.

Iconic American companies such as Costco, and Sams Club have entered the halal arena, you can buy Halal lamb at select Costco and Sams Club locations. In August, the natural grocery giant Whole Foods began selling its first nationally distributed halal food product — frozen Indian entrees called Saffron Road.

American Muslim entrepreneurs have also launched many companies targeting the Muslim Consumers. In the area of Islamic Finance we have seen emergence of companies like Amana Mutual Fund and Azzad Investment Fund in Sharia Compliant Mutual Fund, Guidance Residential and University Islamic Financial in home mortgages and Zayan Financial in Takaful home insurance products.

In the area of Halal Food, Crescent Food, Saffron Road and Midamar are emerging as a mainstream brand.

There is a big buzz about the Muslim lifestyle market, where the fashion industry is constantly looking for new influences, and is shaped by grassroots trends, as well as different cultures. Fashion is a global phenomenon, and that the rising market is with young Muslim consumers who embrace and fuse together both fashion and faith in order to express their identity.  JaanJ’s (www.JaanJ.com) collection of non silk vegan ties will surely captivate you with its trendy design.

The American Muslim market today has a fast growing diverse set of media and forums that enable access to it. From fast growing online networks such as Zabihah.com, Illumemag.com, Islamicity.com and Elanthemag.com to publications such as Azizah magazine (for American Muslim women) and regional newspapers, a variety of media are fast maturing with captive audiences that reflect the full fabric of American Muslim society and are becoming popular in bringing issues of American Muslims in the forefront.

From food to fashion to finance, buying Muslim is a big opportunity and consumer brands in the U.S. who are smart enough to embrace them will experience firsthand their spending power, brand loyalty and brand advocacy.  The increased support and buzz around this emerging consumer segment is good for the Muslim community, brands seeking to court them and the U.S. economy. And as the outlook for significant top-line growth and overall economic recovery still looks gloomy in many sectors, look for more brands, mainstream and Muslim-owned, to begin to make efforts to gain the attention and loyalty of a significantly important and underserved demographic in the marketplace – the American Muslim Consumer.

American Muslim Market 2011: Business Landscape & Consumer Needs Study

DinarStandard™ (DS), a growth strategy research and advisory firm focused on the global Muslim markets, will be releasing its “American Muslim Market: Business Landscape & Consumer Needs” study exclusively at the American Muslim Consumer Conference, Oct 29 2011.

AMCC attendees will get a special summary presentation of the study findings.  The full study will also be available at a special rate only for registered attendees.

This ground-breaking study will for the first time look at the state of business activity addressing American Muslim needs and show consumer perception of key brands on US halal food, finance, travel and select other sectors.  The study will also highlight American Muslim consumers un-met lifestyle needs.

The key questions this study will reveal:

  1. How is the Muslim demographic different across populations centers?
  2. Which are the major businesses and brands catering to American Muslims (halal food, finance, travel, fashion, media and other sectors)?  How do different brands compare?
  3. What is the brands image with consumers (food & finance)?
  4. What are the key influencing factors for purchase (channels, product attributes, services etc.)?
  5. What are the major latent needs of American Muslims not being met?

The study will be based on a nationwide grass-roots consumer survey across the major population centers and supplemented by DinarStandard’s market research and analysis.

June Newsletter: Featuring DinarStandard, Tom’s of Maine, Little Big Kids, Zabihah.com

AMCC features a company every week on its social media outlets (FacebookLinkedin and Twitter) promoting products or companies which are meeting the growing needs of American Muslim Consumers. Companies/Products featured in the month of June are:

DinarStandard

DinarStandard, a specialized research, advisory and business media firmempowering emerging Muslim markets for growth and global impact. “We believes that businesses are a critical force of change for tackling global human development challenges”, says Rafi Shikoh, Founder and CEO of DinarStandard.

Tom’s of Maine

Since 2006, all Tom’s of Maine products have carried the Halal endorsement, with the exception of bar soap and new Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash. The Halal endorsementcertifies that they are made in accordance with Islamic guidelines under the supervision of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA).

Little Big Kids

Little Big Kids is the first US brand to offer parents a wide range of Islamic Culture Inspired Products for Kids™. “Our goal is to incorporate beautiful culture specific themes into common products that are an everyday part of your child’s life”, says Founder and CEO, Omar Khawaja.

Zabihah.com

Zabihah.com covers the entire halal food chain. For ten years, zabihah.com has given the consumer more control over the quality and quantity of halal food. If you do not get the desired service in a Halal restaurant, this is the place to vent.


At AMCC we keep a pulse on the Muslim Consumer market. These articles which were on major media outlets talk about opportunities and the growing demand in the Muslim Consumer market:

Supermarket speaks language of halal

Sunny Foodmart has ambitious plans to be Toronto’s top multicultural supermarket. It’s off to a good start: The halal meat counter at its second branch has won approval from theMuslim community.

Turkey eyes greater share of pie in global halal market

The size of the total global halal products market ranges from $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion per annum, according to industry experts. Turkey currently only has a small share of the pie, but it hopes to become one of the leading actors in the sector.

Muslim students at Washington U. are getting food options

When the campus’ Muslim Student Association approached the school’s food service provider, Bon Appetit, and asked it to provide halal options — food prepared in accordance with Islamic law — the company agreed. In April, with the Student Union’s support, the Bear’s Den launched a halal food service, making Washington University the first school in the state to offer halal food, according to organizers.

Sharia-compliant bank products poised for strong global growth

Awareness of Islamic finance increasing in Japan, Europe and Australia. The Islamic finance industry can now be considered to be on the global stage. Leadership in the industry has been driven out of Malaysia and the GCC and there has also been significant take up in “non-Muslim” parts of the world, where Islamic finance is seen as “good for business” and a growth market. This is particularly true in Europe, Japan and Australia.

May Newsletter: Featuring Alsharifa, Elan, Abbott Nutrition, Azzad Asset Management

AMCC features a company every week on its social media outlets (FacebookLinkedin and Twitter) promoting products or companies which are meeting the growing needs of American Muslim Consumers. Companies/Products which were featured in the month of May were:

Alsharifa

Where modern meets modest. Alsharifa’s mission is to bring its customers the best value on swimwear and other modest clothing lines for women.

Elan

Elan is the guide to Global Muslim Culture. The site features many Muslim bloggers who blog about news related to Muslim community. This could be the future Huffintonpost.com for Muslim world. Moniza Khokhar is the founder of Elan.

Abbott Nutrition (NYSE: ABT)

Abbott Nutrition’s internationally recognized brands include the Similac® brand of infant formulas; the Gain® brand of growing-up milks; the PediaSure® line of nutritionals for children; and the Ensure® brand of complete and balanced nutrition for adults. Abbott products are Halal certified by IFANCA.

Azzad Asset Management

Azzad Asset Management is an investment advisory firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since 1997, our mission has been to provide discretionary asset management services through smart solutions designed to help you enjoy optimum investment performance without compromising your values. We feel that ethical and socially responsible investment is what ‘Shari’ah compliant’ is and rather than use labels we try to outline what our guidelines specifically are says Fatima Iqbal, Investment Adviser and Financial Planner of Azzad Investments.


At AMCC we keep a pulse on the Muslim Consumer market. These articles which were on major media outlets talk about opportunities and the growing demand in the Muslim Consumer market:

Evolving Halal Certification Trends

The demand for Halal in the U.S. and abroad from consumers has grown in the last few years. From 2005-2009, Datamonitor Group has estimated that the number of global halal product launches has increased by 150%. The exponential rate of increased halal ingredients and foods hitting the global and U.S. markets can be attributed to some key factors. One of these factors include rising prominence of the Islamic consumer market – specifically in the realm of food products.

Islamic fashion: A modern makeover for Mum’s abaya

Modesty and religion are the cornerstones behind the fast-growing Islamic fashion industry, which is making a mark on runways from Indonesia and Dubai to Monte Carlo. Islamic fashion is part of a growing appetite for sharia-related industries and assets, ranging from finance to halal food.

What You Need to Know About Socially Responsible Investing

The number of Social Responsible Investing funds in the U.S. has grown to 250 with assets of $316.1 billion in 2010, up from 55 funds with $12 billion in assets in 1995, according to the Social Investment Forum. Some funds are devoted to investing based on religious beliefs or other social causes. The Ave Maria funds follow the doctrines of the Catholic Church, while the Amana funds abide by Islamic principles.

A high profile Maine business is reaching out to Muslim consumers

Tom’s of Maine has received certification that its personal care products are Halal–a term which means permissible under Islamic law. Business and Halal experts say the certification puts Tom’s in a category with very few other mainstream enterprises in America.