Non-Alcoholic Beer Vies for Malaysia’s Muslim Market

One might expect that non-alcoholic beer would be an attractive alternative for those abstaining for religious reasons. But in countries like Malaysia, where 60 percent of the population in Muslim, authorities have not certified NA beer as halal—or permissible by Islamic law—reports the Wall Street Journal.

Non-alcoholic beers are few and far between in Malaysia, but businessman Ruzi Shuib—who has partnered with NA beer company, Bavaria—believes there is a market opportunity amongst Muslim populations that may not even realize NA alternatives exist. Malaysia’s NA beer market grew at about 4 percent a year from 2008 to 2013, and since Shuib began selling the beer to restaurants and groceries four months ago, he’s sold 12, 000 bottles.

However, halal requirements are strict. In order for companies to receive the halal stamp of approval, the word “beer” cannot appear on a product name. Bavaria’s own halal certificate was vetoed based on the fact that the beverage is produced in the same facilities as other alcoholic products. In their eyes, NA beer is still, pretty much, beer. [Wall Street Journal] [Photo:]