The colour cosmetics industry in India is flourishing at a fast rate among the Indian population, making it one of the fastest growing markets globally. According to Mintel’s research, the industry touched 269.5 million USD in 2013 and is expected to grow at an average rate of 19.9% between 2014 to 2018. While we expect the industry to grow manifold in the forthcoming years, the Muslim community in India is a largely untapped consumer community to benefit from halal products due to their religious constraint in not being able to use products suspectedly mixed with non Halal ingredients. Indian Muslim women are religiously conscience towards main stream cosmetic products due to suspicions of alcohol and pig residues used during the preparation of the product.

A report in The Economist puts the Muslim population in India at around 180 million, which is just under 15% of the country’s total population. This makes India host to the second largest Muslim population in the world. Despite this, we do not see many launches with Halal claim in India.

In September 2014, we observed the launch of Iba Halal Care, claimed to be India’s first halal cosmetics brand.

In September 2014, we observed the launch of Iba Halal Care, claimed to be India’s first halal cosmetics brand. The brand is owned by the Ecotrail Personal Care in Ahmedabad, a company headed by two Jain women. The company highlighted that the source of every ingredient used in the cosmetic product was researched and they ensured that all products are 100% free of non-halal ingredients such as pig fat, other animal derived ingredients, alcohol, chemicals like sulfates and parabens, among others.

The products are targeted at the community middle class and are priced accordingly – INR195 for the lipstick and INR100 for the face wash. The company is also working on permeable nail paints that will allow moisture to penetrate the nail so that it doesn’t have to be removed and re-applied. The range has been certified by Halal India (apex body of halal certification) and will be retailed to consumers outside of Ahmedabad through Amazon India.

Halal certified cosmetic products showcases a huge potential in the Indian market. A factor to look at is that India is a very price sensitive market. The cosmetics and personal care product companies, especially the new entrants have had to work out new innovative strategies to suit native Indian preferences and budgets in order to establish a foothold in the market and thus establish a niche market for them.

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