Young Muslims Are Driving the Rise of the $2 Trillion Halal Economy

  • Muslim shoppers are able to spend trillions on providers that cater to their beliefs.
  • Services tailor-made to the “halal” economic system embrace all the things from relationship apps to modest style.
  • Here’s what’s behind the pattern.

Entrepreneurs are tapping into the rising Muslim demand for apps, style, and different providers — with the group’s spending energy already estimated to be in the trillions.

Muslim shoppers spent greater than $2 trillion globally in 2019, indicated analysis by the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/2021.

This ecosystem is typically known as the “halal economy,” outlined by “Generation M” writer Shelina Janmohamed as “the appetite that Muslim consumers have to consume products and services.”

The phrase “halal” refers to merchandise which can be permissible to devour inside the margins of Islamic legislation.

The goal for Muslims is towards “completing the identity in every aspect of life,” mentioned professor Mehmet Asutay, an professional on Islamic finance at Durham University.

Young Muslims are driving the halal economic system, significantly after the occasions of 9/11. Janmohamed mentioned the tragedy and subsequent discrimination motivated younger Muslims to “define themselves by their very overt, explicit Muslim identity.”

She added: “They want to feel part of the consumer generation. They want to have products and services that meet their requirements. When they go on the high street, they don’t find those products and services. So they start to develop them themselves.”

‘Mainstream relationship apps do not work’

Muzmatch app

Muzmatch is a Muslim relationship app based by Shahzad Younas in 2015.


One instance is Muzmatch, the first Muslim-centric app to be backed by Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator accelerator program.

The app — launched in 2015 by founder Shahzad Younas — mentioned it has four.6 million members, helped by a 45% improve in downloads since lockdowns started in 2020.

Younas mentioned he sought to offer a service that appealed to a complicated Muslim shopper. He added that throughout South Asia and different components of the world, “there is a growing middle class” that has an urge for food for Muslim-oriented merchandise. 

“If you identify as Muslim, we’re a place for you,” he mentioned, including that the service initially targeted on Muslims in non-Muslim international locations.

“In Western countries, the mainstream dating apps don’t work for Muslims,” Younas mentioned. “They’re too casual. They’re not centered around finding a life partner. They don’t really cater on a religious or ethical perspective of what we think is acceptable and what’s not for the Muslim consumer.”

It’s partly about altering priorities

Portrait of group of stylish young Muslim women

Stylish Muslim girls.

Nina Manandhar

One motive Muslim shoppers are clamoring for tailor-made providers is the altering priorities between generations.

Asutay mentioned, for instance, that demand for firms offering Islamic finance is greater in the UK amongst the youthful era.

The first era was “the homemakers,” he mentioned. “Their objective was very much looking into the well-being of their kids; having an accommodation, house; and building the mosque.”

The youthful era, shifting up a Maslow-style hierarchy of wants, “are more Islamic-finance-oriented or inclined to take care of Islamic finance compared to the earlier generation,” he mentioned.

Startups reminiscent of Wahed Invest or Affinis Labs — each based in 2015 — intention to fill this hole. Wahed Invest is a halal funding platform, and Affinis Lab is a social-innovation agency that helps shoppers sort out world challenges.

Janmohamed, who additionally runs Ogilvy Noor, a consultancy for constructing Muslim shopper manufacturers, mentioned larger manufacturers had a way of lacking out on Muslim shoppers. 

British retailer John Lewis started stocking modest-fashion retailer Aab earlier in 2021, whereas Nike catered to Muslim swimmers with modest swimwear in 2020. Muslim spend on attire is anticipated to succeed in $311 billion by 2024, and Muslim girls, particularly, search modest clothes.

Janmohamed mentioned: “The Muslim women who are so often depicted as stereotypes in our newspapers, in our political discussions, as kind of oppressive, oppressed and weak, and victims have created an industry that is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and it looks kind of cool, and it’s very stylish.”

Asutay concluded that larger manufacturers representing the wants of the Muslim shopper “is an important opportunity in terms of getting the Muslim community to move on and to become part of the larger society.”

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