Overview of the Halal Diet in the United States
Halal is a very common term used to describe a set of dietary laws set by the laws of Islam. However, the term, in general, and according to Islamic law, stands for all things which are permissible as viewed by Islam rather than those things that are considered haram and or forbidden according to Islam (DeBruyne, Pinna, and Whitney, 2012). Among the most common characteristics of the halal diet is restricting people from eating certain kinds of animals. An instance is the consumption of pork. The eating of pork is forbidden according to Islamic Law. Halal diet does not include any components of alcohol. Halal diet is most common among Muslim communities that do not reside in Muslim countries. In the non-Muslim states, this diet is prepared in special stores, which specialize in preparing the diet (Brown, 2011).
The halal diet is free from calories or carbs. Moreover, the meal is not meant for use by people who want to lose weight. Halal is a diet and or a way of eating which is adhered to by Muslims as stipulated in the Muslim holy book known as the Quran. The Quran has guidelines that caution Muslims against overindulgence and urges Muslims to adhere to self-discipline in all activities, including eating. Therefore, most Muslims who keep to this diet are unlikely to overeat; thus, obesity and overweight cases are rare (DeBruyne, Pinna, and Whitney, 2012).
In the United States, an Islamic body that controls food and nutrition for Muslims known as the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America gives certification for dealers in halal food product manufacturers in the country. The Consumer Group of Muslims is the one that gives certification labels that are used in the identification of the halal status of consumer food products. The United States Department of Agriculture is working towards developing a certification process for Halal food products in the United States Food Market. This effort is geared towards ensuring that Halal food products are safe (Van Der Meulen, 2011).
Therefore, the introduction of the halal diet in the market to reduce weight has to be inclined towards a new ray of customers who are Muslims who don’t use the diet. This does not limit itself to muslins alone; it is open to other people who do not practice Islam religion.
The targeted customers for this diet are majorly Muslims. However, other people who are non-Muslims can become customers too. However, the first-hand group of customers for this diet will be Muslims as they are the major consumers of the Halal diet (Smith, 20117).
Strengths of the Halal Diet
- The diet has values that support slimming and weight loss. Thus, it is one of the best options for addressing obesity and weight loss, whose magnitude has been increasing.
- Many restaurants in the United States of America are beginning to include the halal diet to attract Muslim clients to their restaurants.
- The values of the diet – avoidance of overeating and overindulgence are a boosting factor for the diet considering the fact that these values are important in addressing the purpose for which the diet is intended, that is, weight loss.
- The diet is diverse in that it addresses different eating habits, which are vegetarianism and non – vegetarianism. This will aid in capturing a big clientele in the market. Strict vegetarians and those who are not vegetarians will have their needs addressed by the diet.
The Weakness of the Diet
The diet cannot be easily detached from issues of religion that surrounds it. The Halal diet has been for a very long time been known to be a meal for Muslims. Therefore, it is hard to market it to the Christian population, which forms most of the United States population.
Opportunities of the Halal Diet
- There is an increasing trend in the number of Muslims in the United States.
- The growing number of Muslims in the country is an indicator availability of clientele for the Halal diet.
- The cases of obesity and overweight are widespread across the United States. In almost all the states of the United States, there are many obesity and overweight cases, implying a wider market of this diet if it is well marketed across the United States.
- There has been a growing concern over the safety of meat products in the United States due to pathogens like e-coli, which were discovered in different samples of meat products. This is a positive factor as it pertains to the marketing of the vegetarian diet.
Threats of the Halal Diet
This diet faces stiff competition, more so from the kosher diet prepared and consumed mostly by Jews.
One of the competitors of the Halal diet is the kosher diet that is consumed by Jews. It is hard to differentiate between the halal diet and the kosher diet. There are more Jews in the United States as compared to the number of Muslims, which makes kosher meals to be dominant. The population of Jews is almost double the population of Muslims in the country (Brown, 2011). The meals to be offered will be tailor-made to capture not only the needs of the Muslims in the country but also the needs of other people who are non-Muslims. The diet will be composed of different meals, which will also be prepared in two different ways. The first type will be vegetarian centered, while the second type will be non-vegetative in nature (Knechtges, 2012).
Product (Service) Offering
The fact that that obesity or overweight has become a big problem and a causal factor of many diseases like diabetes is a positive indicator that will easily aid in the marketing of the Halal diet. The diet is free from calories and other food substances that cause these conditions. The company will utilize this factor when marketing the diet, especially so among the Christian population, which forms a majority of the population in the United States. The diet has been diversified; therefore can fit the major dietary habits, which are vegetarianism and non – vegetarian eating habits. The diet is thus expected to capture a higher number of customers, most of whom fit either of the two dietary habit groups (Mcphee, 2011).
Keys to Success
Having had advancements in communication and more so the use of the internet, this will be used to advertise the diet in the country. Television adverts also do have a big impact on the creation of awareness about a new product in the market. Therefore, the company will also use television adverts in reaching the audience and or potential customers and more so in explaining the difference and the role of this new diet and the distinction between the diet and the normal and or the prevailing Halal diet (Nielsen, 2010).
Most people in the United States buy their food from restaurants. There are major and dominant restaurants in the United States, for instance, the McDonald’s restaurants. Restaurants in the United States do prepare a wide range of meals and diets. The variety captures different groups of eating habits, vegetarianism being one of them. Also, there are several which have begun preparing the Halal diet in the country. These are marketing constraints for this company and the product it is planning to market – the Halal diet (Nielsen, 2010).
Muslims in the United States believe most in specific restaurants in the country which prepare the Halal diet. Thus they flock to these stores to get the diets. They flock to the specific stores more so during Muslim Celebrations (Van Der Meulen, 2011). The company intends to use the distribution means in availing the meal to consumers in different locations. The diet will be delivered in the homes. The company will ensure that it sets up its stores in different states where it would identify potential consumers. Thereafter, the company will hire distributors to help them carry out the distribution and delivery of the products to customers.
Brown, A. C. (2011). Understanding food: Principles and preparation. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub Co.
DeBruyne, L. K., Pinna, K., and Whitney, E. N. (2012). Nutrition and diet therapy. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth / Cengage Learning.
Knechtges, P. L. (2012). Food safety: Theory and practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Mcphee, Stephen, Papadakis, Maxine and Rabow, Michael W. (2011). Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2012. McGraw-Hill.
Nielsen, S. S. (2010). Food Analysis. Berlin: Springer US.
Smith, A. F. (2007). The Oxford companion to American food and drink. New York: Oxford University Press.
Van Der Meulen, Bernd. (2011). Private Food Law: Governing Food Chains through Contract Law, Self-regulation, Private Standards, Audits and Certification Schemes. Wageningen Academic Pub.