What is halal food and why is it important in Indonesia?

Sriboga News | Company

What Is Halal Food? Why Is It So Important in Indonesia?

When you see a halal logo on a restaurant, you might think, what does that mean? What is halal food exactly? Well, simply put, halal food refers to food that does not contain raw materials which are not permitted to be consumed in Islam. Then, why is halal food so important in Indonesia?

Around 88% of the Indonesian population are Muslims, thus Indonesia has established themselves as the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. From the food industry perspective, halal food supported with halal certification is crucial to the business. Many of you might be asking yourself, “What is halal food? How is the regulation implemented in Indonesia?” Well, you might be in luck because we are going to explain to you all about it in this article. 

What Is Halal Food?

Halal food is any food that can be consumed by Muslims according to the Islamic law

Halal (Arabic: حلال) is an Arabic word meaning 'permitted' or 'authorized' under Islamic law. In Islamic terms, it means permissible according to Islamic rules. This term is used most often for food, but it also stands for all types of acts permitted in Islam. 

Then, what is halal food? In terms of food, halal food refers to food that does not contain raw materials which are forbidden in Islam. Muslims are not allowed to consume certain types of food, including pork and its by-products, carnivorous animals, birds of prey, land animals without external ears, blood by-products, and alcoholic food and beverage products. 

Muslims are also prohibited from eating animals that died before being slaughtered or were not slaughtered properly. The Islamic Sharia states that an animal needs to be slaughtered in a way that would be least painful to them. Moreover, they would also need to be treated well, such as given proper food and drink and not suffering from any diseases. The methodology also requires the slaughter to be invisible to other animals because the animal's optical, olfactory and cochlear senses can sense the stress state of the same species.  

Halal Certification Regulation in Indonesia

All halal food in Indonesia must include the Indonesian halal label

So, what is halal food and how is halal regulation implemented in Indonesia?

Halal labels are issued by the Halal Product Guarantee Agency (Indonesian: Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Produk Halal, BPJPH) under the auspices of the Ministry of Religion, as regulated in Law No. 33 of 2014. The halal certification process is under the agency, while the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) sets halal compliance standards and issues halal fatwas. This aims to provide comfort, safety, and certainty of the availability of halal products for the public to consume and use. 

The regulations also require the inclusion of halal labels on food packaging, while Non-halal food is required to include non-halal information in the form of images, signs and/or writing on the product packaging. The label must be easy to be seen and read and not easily removed nor damaged.

To get a halal label, food must not contain non-halal ingredients in their raw, processed, additive and auxiliary materials. All food production processes must also meet the requirements of Islamic sharia. This includes the processes of slaughtering, processing, storing, packaging, distributing, selling and serving.

Benefits of Halal Certified Business

Halal certification provides many benefits for businesses

Having answered your question “what is halal food” earlier, let's now talk about its benefits for business. Having a halal certificate offers many benefits for a food-related business, such as a restaurant business. Here are some of the benefits that you can get with a halal certification:

  1. Provide assurance to halal consumers that the food is halal and in accordance with Islamic law.
  2. Build consumer trust in food health and hygiene.
  3. Make your products available to halal consumers, both Muslims and non-Muslims.
  4. Provide more halal food choices for consumers, especially if the food is commonly known as non-halal product.
  5. The certificate helps you reach and even export the food to Muslim countries easily.

Aside from the benefits above, halal certification is also considered a powerful marketing tool. With the ever-growing number of Muslims around the world, having a clear understanding of what halal food is and obtaining halal certificates become essential to market your business.

Therefore, it is no wonder why businesses are willing to put in the time and effort to earn this certificate. The halal certification process does take a long time, but it is worth fighting for seeing the many benefits that can be obtained.

PT Sriboga Raturaya Strives to Provide Halal Food From Its Restaurants

PT Sriboga Raturaya received halal certification for Marugame Udon

Bringing a global restaurant into a country with a Muslim majority population presents its own challenges for PT Sriboga Raturaya. With over 88% of Indonesia's population being Muslim, it is undeniable that the highest purchasing decisions are held by this group. 

Justifying the answer on "what is halal food" and how it is implemented according to the Indonesian government, PT Sriboga Raturaya ensured that their two franchise restaurants, Pizza Hut and Marugame Udon, receive halal certification. In 1997, Pizza Hut Indonesia had successfully received their halal certification while Marugame Udon received theirs back in 2015. 

One of the challenges faced by PT Sriboga Raturaya is finding substitute raw materials to meet the halal certification requirements as they are one of the most important components in ensuring the food served is as great as the ones sold globally. Incorrect substitution for one raw ingredient can spoil the overall taste of the dish.

PT Sriboga Raturaya faced this challenge when trying to get halal certification for Marugame Udon. Obtaining the certification for Marugame Udon is not an easy matter, because the restaurant brings a very thick Japanese culture. The company needs to make some adjustments to the non-halal raw materials used.

For example, Marugame Udon in Japan uses alcohol-based sauces such as sake and mirin. In Indonesia, the company replaced both ingredients with yeast and vegetable extracts to meet the definition of what halal food is. Also, the broth here is made with chicken instead of pork, in contrast to what they use in the original country.

Even though it was a long and quite difficult process, PT Sriboga Raturaya managed to do that. Of course, the halal raw materials substitutes have gone through a strict selection process. That way, they will not ruin the authentic taste of the food.

With a halal certificate, PT Sriboga Raturaya can penetrate the Muslim-majority consumers in Indonesia. As of September 2022, Pizza Hut and Marugame Udon have 582 outlets and 77 outlets respectively, proving that the company has successfully catered to the Indonesian market that demands for halal-certified products without putting aside the quality of the flavors. Visit our website at sriboga.com to learn more about our brands.