Halal Food Marketing Journal of Food Products Marketing

Journal of Food Products Marketing

Edited by Mohamed M. Mostafa

This virtual special issue highlights five previously published papers in the Journal of Food Products Marketing for their contribution to the discussion of consumers’ attitudes and behaviors towards global halal food products. The articles chosen span research topics as diverse as halal certification, halal purchase intentions among Muslim minorities and mining Twitter for sentiments expressed towards halal food.

In a comparative study covering countries in three continents (Asia, Australasia and Africa), Latif et al. used an analytical approach to investigate global halal certification requirements around the world. This study identified nine categories that are usually used to grant halal certification: company ownership, premises, workers, equipment, raw material used, packaging and labeling procedures, logistics, suppliers and procedures and documentations followed. The authors found that the Islamic Department of Malaysia (JAKIM) was the strictest body in awarding halal certification to companies. 

Based on a sample of 332 respondents and using the theory of planned behavior (TPB) framework, Abu-Hussin et al. considered factors influencing consumers’ intention to purchase halal food in Singapore. The authors used multiple regression to analyze the results and found that all TPB variables were statistically significant in explaining halal food purchase intentions among Muslim minority in Singapore.

Bashir et al. used structural equation modeling techniques to investigate consumers’ intentions to buy halal food in South Africa. Although the study was conducted in South Africa, the population of the study was limited to non-South Africans or foreigners who live in South Africa, including immigrants, foreign workers and students. This study was also based on the TPB. Surprisingly, the only significant dimension in predicting intentions was the attitude dimension of the TPB, whereas subjective norms and perceived behavioral control did not show a statistically significant relationship.

In a similar vein, Yener (2015) analyzed consumer attitudes towards halal-certified products in Turkey. The study might be considered exploratory in nature with a judgment sampling method used to gather data. Using factor analysis, three dimensions emerged: purchase intention, perceived value and food safety. Using regression analysis, the author found that attitudes towards halal-certified products in Turkey are affected by three factors, namely perceived risk, involvement and religiosity.

Finally, Mostafa used a data mining approach to map halal food consumers based on Twitter opinion polarity analysis. In this study, the author used a large sample of tweets from around the world to study consumers’ sentiments related to halal food. Descriptive statistics detected a generally positive sentiment towards halal food, whereas geo-located Twitter maps showed that the “religious diaspora” extensively uses digital posts to communicate about halal food. By analyzing halal food opinions expressed on social media, this research adds breadth and depth to the debate over such an underrepresented area.

We hope that the selected papers for this virtual special issue on halal food marketing stimulates additional research exploring factors influencing halal food consumption across the world. There is a need for more research in this area given the considerable market size of halal food estimated at around US$ 150 billion annually. For example, are there any differences between Muslims and non-Muslims in selecting halal food products? How might the halal food market be segmented or clustered?