Managing Dietary Markets: How to Leverage Halal and Kosher in Product Development

Session Track: Consumer Lifestyles & Demographics
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012; 12:40 – 1:40 p.m.

Session Description:

Today, accommodating diverse dietary needs in product development to attract multiple consumer profiles is the new norm. There is a need to appeal to a wide range of global, multicultural consumers, while at the same time reducing regulatory costs, saving time, and resolving clean labeling issues. In this session, participants will learn specific R&D information that highlights similarities and differences between halal and kosher, two examples of special dietary needs that dominate global food products. Participants also will learn about the markets demanding these certificates, and the challenges around dual certification during product development. Insight into what appeals to consumers during religious observances also will be explored.

Speaker Information:

Asma Ahad, Director of Halal Market Development, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of AmericaAsma Ahad
Asma Ahad has over 13 years of experience in R&D and Supply Chain, at Kraft Foods, working hand in hand with marketing and management.  She co-led Kraft’s Muslim Marketing initiative in which she was vital in developing the program and helped validate the consumer demand for Halal products.  The results established the connection between Kraft products and Muslims. Asma graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  While in school, she interned for Kraft Foods, in Glenview, Illinois.  Upon graduation she joined Kraft as a Product and Process Developer.  Asma holds 5 patents and is the recipient of Kraft’s 2007 Diversity Leadership Award. Asma is also involved with initiatives in the Chicago area.  She has created programs to educate the community, industry and schools with regards to halal and halal standards.  She has also volunteered her time with organizations that assist refugees in getting acclimated to their new homes.  Asma joined IFANCA as Director of Halal Market Development


Joe Regenstein, Ph.D., Professor, Cornell UniversityJoe Regenstein
Dr. Regenstein is a Professor of Food Science in the Department of Food Science and Institute of Food Science at Cornell University (50% research, 40% teaching, 10% extension). He also has an appointment in the Waste Management Institute of Cornell's Center for the Environment, and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He held an appointment as a Visiting Professor of Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion at the University of Rochester for 3 years and is currently a Visiting Professor of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin in the Department of Food Science. Both his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry (College of Arts and Sciences) and his Master of Science in Dairy Chemistry (College of Agriculture) are from Cornell.  He received a Ph.D. in Biophysics (Muscle Contraction) from Brandeis University in 1973.


Brooke Schantz, R.D., Outpatient Clinical Dietitian, Loyola University Medical Center and C.E.O, Bitchin’ NutritionBrooke Schantz
Brooke Blue Schantz holds a B.S. (Purdue University) in dietetics and M.S. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) in Nutritional Sciences. During her Masters studies, she completed her Dietetic Internship and became a Registered Dietitian (R.D.). Brooke is an active member in the American Dietetic Association (ADA). She is currently the Secretary of the Chicago Dietetic Association (CDA), Treasurer of the Muslims in Dietetics and Nutrition (MIDAN) member interest group, and ADA's New Member Advisory Sub-Committee of the Member Value Committee. Schantz is currently the Outpatient Clinical Dietitian at Loyola University Medical Center and CEO of Bitchin’ Nutrition.