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Halal food industry growing to meet demand as Muslim population continues rising

Eleven years ago, the recipe for the McCain Deep’n Delicious cake — a decades-old Canadian classic — changed. 

To many Canadians, the removal of beef gelatin from the cake’s components may have gone unnoticed. But for Muslim shoppers used to checking the ingredients of food products, it was cause for celebration. 

“It went kind of viral within the Muslim community, like, ‘Oh my God, we can eat this,’” said Salima Jivraj, account director and multicultural lead at Nourish Food Marketing.

It’s easier than ever to find halal meat, snacks and desserts in grocery stores as the industry expands in response to Canada’s growing Muslim population, and Jivraj said she doesn’t expect that growth to slow anytime soon. 

“The demand just keeps growing. So it’s a really good business to be in,” she said. 

Nearly five per cent of Canadians are Muslim, according to the 2021 census, a proportion that has more than doubled since 2001, with immigration as a key driver.