Islamic products and services: an emerging market

The market for Islamic products and services is growing worldwide. The Netherlands is home to roughly 1 million Muslims, the majority of whom follow a halal diet. A growing number of Western consumers are also buying Islamic products. Discover your opportunities in the halal market.

Selling Islamic products and services

Although the word ‘halal’ might be associated with food, it also covers many other areas. It is essentially about how Muslims should conduct themselves and what types of products they are permitted to consume. In the sectors and industries listed below, you will find a large demand for Islamic products and services.

Halal travel

Specialised travel agencies offer halal travel services. This includes, for example, hotels with prayer rooms, offering halal meals, and sex-segregated facilities. If you can adapt your travel services to comply with halal requirements, this may help you attract new customers.

Halal healthcare services

The healthcare system in the Netherlands focuses mainly on patients from Western backgrounds. People from non-Western countries tend to have different healthcare needs. Culture and religion also play a role in issues such as organ donation, stem cell donation, and palliative treatments for terminal patients. You might explore ways of responding to this need as a healthcare provider.

Halal cosmetics

Demand for halal beauty products has skyrocketed in recent years. Research company Grand View Research expects consumers to spend a total of $52 billion in halal cosmetics worldwide by 2025. This growth is driven not only by Islamic consumers: vegans also like to buy halal cosmetics, as they contain no animal or GMO ingredients.

How do you reach Islamic consumers?

Islamic holidays are a good opportunity to organise special promotional campaigns. The two main holidays are the Sugar Feast and the Feast of Sacrifice. Products with halal certification are also important for Islamic consumers.

Marketing: Eid Mubarak

During the Sugar Feast (Eid al-Fitr), Muslims celebrate the end of the Ramadan. It is tradition to give each other gifts and buy new clothes. In recent years, decorating the home has also gained in popularity, for example with streamers and balloons with the caption ‘Eid Mubarak’: blessed holidays.

During the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha), Muslims celebrate that God gave Abraham a sheep to sacrifice in place of his son Ismael. Muslims slaughter an animal on this day and carve up the meat in three parts: one part for themselves, one part for their friends and loved ones, and one part for the poor and disadvantaged. The Feast of Sacrifice is another grand occasion, complete with family visits, new clothes, and delicious food.
These holidays provide you with the opportunity to reach Islamic customers with your products, or to sell specialised Islamic products.

Toblerone, Lipton, Nescafé, Bavaria (malt), and Haribo are just a few of the companies that organise successful halal marketing campaigns. Major international fashion houses have also been known to adopt Islamic fashion trends.


Islamic consumers make a point of buying products with halal certification. To meet this requirement, you may need to adjust some of your business processes. There are a variety of certification organisations in the Netherlands and elsewhere, but they do not all have the same terms and conditions. There are also numerous quality marks and logos. This is due to differences in interpretation as to what halal really is. If you are planning to export halal products (in Dutch) to Islamic countries or nearby markets (Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), you will need to consider terms of certification. Since different product requirements apply to each country, you should check if the import country recognises the certification body in the Netherlands.

Identify your opportunities

  • Create a business plan for the sale of Islamic products. Check your customer database to see if you have any customers to whom this product category could potentially be of interest.
  • Find out what other entrepreneurs operating in your sector are doing.
  • You should consider working together with entrepreneurs with an Islamic background. The combination of your services will open up new markets, resulting in buyers from a variety of cultures.