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Kazakhstan’s $3 billion halal food sector

For halal food and drink producers, Kazakhstan holds plenty of promise – around $3 billion dollars’ worth. Over 70% of the nation’s 17 million residents identify as Muslim, powering a higher demand for top quality halal products.

Kazakhs already prefer imported food products. As more of the nation’s populace embraces its Muslim heritage, the market contains plenty of opportunities for international halal food manufacturers.

Kazakhstan’s food market embraces halal

Roughly $22 billion is spent on food and drink across Kazakhstan every year. The country’s 11 million Muslims account for a large chunk of this, spending $12.4 billion. Expenditure on halal-specific foodstuffs comes to $3 billion.

Development of Kazakhstan’s halal industry has been relatively slow since its independence from the Soviet Union in the early nineties. It first joined the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1995. It was another decade before Kazakhstan established its own halal certification body, the Kazakhstan Halal Industry Association (AHIK), in 2006.

The number of outlets selling halal food has risen in recent years, alongside an increase in the number of halal enterprises operating in Kazakhstan. In 2002, there were just eight halal specialists in the country. Now, Kazakhstan is home to over 600 halal businesses working there, plus 130 dedicated slaughterhouses catering to Kazakhstan’s Muslim population.

Since then, halal has become a driving force in Kazakhstan’s food and beverage market – especially in the meat sector. 30% of all meat sold throughout the country is classified as halal.
Obviously, pork is off Muslim’s menus for religious reasons, but this means that, alongside beef and mutton, other meat types end up on Kazakh plates. Halal sausages, poultry, as well as horse and camel meat, are very popular amongst Kazakhstan’s Muslim consumers.

The development of Kazakhstan’s halal tastes is an ongoing process – one that reveals numerous avenues for foreign companies to enter the nation’s food market. Of course, exporting halal products, both food and drink, to Kazakhstan is the obvious way, but other companies are taking different stances towards Kazakhstan’s halal food sector.

Foreign companies developing halal food production sites in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is pouring billions into developing its agriculture and food production industries. Halal is not being overlooked, with several international businesses realising the potential the market holds. Thanks to its favourable geographic location, in the middle of Central Asia, Kazakhstan is ideal as an export base for regional markets, as well as off to Asia proper and the Middle East.

International producers are bankrolling farms or manufacturing sites. Malaysia-based Mardi Holdings, for example, is planning on investing in a range of halal production facilities in Kazakhstan in the near future, thanks to Kazakhstan’s promising position as an export market.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is keen to attract foreign talent, expertise and machinery in developing its halal food industry. Erlan Idrissov, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister in 2015, has said “we need halal expertise for our agricultural sector, as there is great demand for all kinds of halal products.”

The push to develop and expand Kazakhstan’s food and drink manufacturing efforts is a multi-billion endeavour with $8.9 billion of investment planned for new factories and processing centres. Halal is no exception and, with the foreign ministry fostering foreign cooperation, holds plenty of promise for animal husbandry, meat processing and production technology and expertise.

Connect with Kazakhstan’s halal food sector at WorldFood Kazakhstan 2017

Whether as a food and drink exporter, or a production machinery and equipment manufacturer, Kazakhstan’s halal industry is hot market. To connect with the sector’s biggest players, you need to be at WorldFood Kazakhstan 2017.

World Food Kazakhstan is a wide-ranging exhibition, showcasing the very best products on Kazakhstan's food and drink market. The event has become a major meeting place for the industry, welcoming thousands of visitors from Kazakhstan and the wider Central Asian region. 

This year’s event is held between 1-3 November 2017 in the nation’s capital Almaty. Interested in learning more about the show? Get in contact with us today to get more information on how you can take part.


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