Most people have no idea the time suck you’d face if you had to read every single ingredient on every single product before chucking it into your grocery cart. Well, unless they’ve got food allergies or follow any sort of strict diet. Kosher - got it. Keto - duh. Vegetarian or vegan - covered.
But what if you want to eat halal? (That’s the set of dietary restrictions Muslims submit themselves to, btw.) In general, that involves no pork or alcohol. But it goes much deeper to include the ethical care and processing of animals. In this, it’s not just Muslims who prefer halal - anyone wanting truly clean ingredients should check it out. However, while it’s easy to find halal food in many places around the world… in North America? Not so much.
One Under-Served Market
You’d think that with 10M Muslims on the continent, there’d be at least a brand or two to serve them. But no. And for those who’d like halal versions of mainstream foods like spaghetti sauce, bone broth, and hot dogs? Fuggedaboudit.
This, friends, is what we call “pent up demand.”
It’s also the source of many of the challenges facing Anas AlQadhi (you pronounce his first name like NS). When he joined the Capitalism Incubator, he’d originally thought he’d create a halal prenatal supplement brand. After all, his wife converted to Islam and then they had two babies within a few years.
To the manufacturing world - at least in North America - this seemed like an impossible ask. Anas worked his way through a long list of potential manufacturing partners, trying to find any that would work with him, be reasonably priced, and the big one… get halal certified.
He thought he had one! Until just a few days before Anas was scheduled to attend a trade show and give out samples. They bailed. Yay.
What Would YOU Do?
Anas then had a choice to make. Stay home and stew over this hiccup, or go anyway. Obv he went! His booth may have been the simplest ever: Sharpie markers and Post-It notes. Anas used the opportunity to talk with his potential customers and ask them what they want (all the foods!) and what it’s like for them not to have a brand they can trust at a glance (not good).
He practiced his pitch there. He shared his vivid vision. He talked with his future customers. He even talked with people who want to invest in him and promote MyHalalCompany. Sometimes, it got emotional. Especially when people shared their feelings of being left out and overlooked, of the generational impact this particular food desert is creating in the community.
And you know what? Anas left the trade show with even more pep in his step, KNOWING his person is right there, waiting for him to help them. He’s also got his first investor.
His long-term plan for his brand is to acquire compatible brands that serve the same community. Snacks, fresh food, fresh meat, specialty foods, supplements, skincare - there are thousands of consumer product lines that could produce halal products. And then, once Anas has grown his brand as far as he can, he’ll be interested in selling it to a bigger company that can take it even further.
The Hunt Continues
But first, he’s got to find a manufacturer that is ready to serve this massive marketplace. While Anas hunts for the right manufacturing partner, he’s continuing to grow his audience via TikTok and Facebook. Plus he’s talking with potential collaborators - there are many in this space, and together, they could serve this audience and make buying decisions easy for them.
Like many entrepreneurs, Anas has done a little of a lot of things. His stint in corporate had him working for one of the top 20 companies in the Midwest for healthcare. While he started in programming and software development, he shifted into team lead, managing bigger and bigger teams. When he hit burnout a few years ago, he decided it was time to look at building something of his own.
And like so many in our community, what Anas has found most helpful to him is how he’s beat the loneliness and uncertainty of entrepreneurism by surrounding himself with other weirdos. OK, that’s not quite how he put it! But if you’ve got an entrepreneur brain, you know exactly what that means.
We’re weird. We work weird hours. We put everything on the line, every day. We build something to serve someone. The weirdness can pile up and leave us wondering if we’re just plain crazy.
What Anas has found is that sometimes when other people see what you’re up to, they believe in you and your vision more solidly than you do! As you take action and make progress, your ability to believe in yourself grows. But until then, the best thing you can do is to surround yourself with people who will loan you a little belief as you grow.
We're rooting hard for Anas as he builds this brand to serve people he loves and to make their lives just a little better. That's what's at the heart of a great business... the kind with the potential to create generational wealth.
If Anas inspires you to build a million dollar brand of your own, we'd love to help. In fact, we're on a mission to make one million new millionaires by 2028.
That's why we created this FREE course that will get you started building a million dollar brand of your own in about a year. Start learning now!