As availability of Halal certified ingredients continues to rise, NoorVitamins shifts focus to optimizing formulations

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

“The availability [of Halal ingredients] now has become less of an issue, and we now focus our energy on creating the optimal product formulation rather than simply just trying to find whatever Halal source we can get for our product,” said NoorVitamins CEO Dr. Mohamed Issa
“The availability [of Halal ingredients] now has become less of an issue, and we now focus our energy on creating the optimal product formulation rather than simply just trying to find whatever Halal source we can get for our product,” said NoorVitamins CEO Dr. Mohamed Issa
It is easier to come across Halal-certified ingredients in the dietary supplement space today than it was when NoorVitamins started in 2011, CEO Dr. Mohamed Issa told NutraIngredients-USA.

Thanks to this, NoorVitamins​ can now shift its focus on creating new, condition specific formulations of its products. “Our value proposition certainly includes Halal, but it’s not limited to Halal,” ​he said.

The Long Island, NY-based company started the Halal supplements category in the US when it launched seven years ago. “We source from all around the world. We focus on natural sources, and for every ingredient coming from an animal source, we request—and are able to obtain—a certificate of Halal source,” ​he explained.

“We use that Halal certification when applying for a broader Halal certification for our finished product.”

According to the NoorVitamins website, there are three certifying bodies​ that have granted Halal certification to the company’s products: Islamic Services of America, The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, and the Halal Advisory Group.

The certification revolves around Muslim dietary laws, which prohibit pork products, alcohol, and contact with blood as well as other considerations. It also ensures that any animals used within the process are treated in a humane fashion under Islamic principles, Dr. Issa said.

‘It wasn’t a high priority for many of the suppliers’

The new flexibility in which NoorVitamins can formulate Halal-certified products has allowed it to produce four condition-specific, proprietary products in the last year or two, Dr. Issa continued. This includes Joint +, Energy +, Pre-Natal + Ginger, and Hair, Skin, Nails.

“The availability ​[of Halal ingredients] now has become less of an issue, and we now focus our energy on creating the optimal product formulation rather than simply just trying to find whatever Halal source we can get for our product,” ​Dr. Issa said, adding that he noticed the trend for more Halal ingredients in recent years.

Halal-certified gelatin was one example of an ingredient that’s easier to come across these days, with more ingredient suppliers competing in the category. Same goes for some actives and inactive ingredients that go into the supplements, though Dr. Issa didn’t elaborate which ones.

It wasn’t as high of a priority for many of the suppliers, however over time, and quite frankly as we created the market for this in the past, the sourcing for this has become easier,” ​he added.

Though not necessarily suppliers for NoorVitamins, examples of recent announcements of new Halal certification include halal collagen by BioCell​, and halal astaxanthin by Israeli company Algatechnologies​ and Hawaii-based Cyanotech​.

Made in the US, with strong growth overseas

Dr. Issa said that the company continues to see the strong growth it saw three years ago​. As its stateside distribution footprint continues to grow—including national pharmacy Walgreens and it sister retailers with 700 stores in total—so has its international footprint.

NoorVitamins products are now available in the Middle Eastern countries, South Asian countries, Canada, and a few South American countries.

“The US continues to be the most profitable segment of our business. However, from a volume perspective, other parts across the world have started to take precedence because of the volume consumption given the overall population,” ​he said.

He added that he estimates the make-up of his customers are split equally 50-50 between retailers that especially seek Halal products to stock and mainstream retailers.

“We think Halal is an advantage. I think the fact that we’re Halal doesn’t take away from our sourcing, it doesn’t take away from our formulation—in fact it only makes it stronger,” ​Dr. Issa said, highlighting that the certification comes with associations of more humane treatment to animals and an indicator that both suppliers and finished product maker have done due diligence to research the sources of the ingredients.

“There’s nothing that a non-Halal brand would have that we can’t have in our formulas. In fact, we usually have everything they do but much more,” ​he said.

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