Azanti: ‘Isn’t it time to stock best Halal wines & drinks on market!’
A “sober lifestyle” isn’t just a growing trend across the UK but also the business slogan of up-and-coming Halal beverage company Azanti.
With sobriety particularly strong among younger people and Halal foodies across the country, this distribution company is on the cusp of making big strides this year.
Not only has it introduced an exciting line of Halal drinks to its already impressive portfolio, but also secured a major promotional deal with a motor racing team.
Yet despite the success achieved thus far, one question still remains to be answered: why aren’t more Halal restaurants stocking the best Halal beverage on the market?
This question becomes all the more significant when considering that Azanti entered the UK market in 2016 as a distributor of the award-winning Domaines Pierre Chavin’s Zéro collection – a range of non-alcoholic wine that’s carefully dealcoholised using the spinning cone technique.
With 0% alcohol, both Halal certification (a Halal independent audit available on request) and a supporting Fatwa was issued by Khalifa Ezzat, Chief Imam and Head of Religious Affairs at London Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre, as confirmation of this fact and the Halal technique used to dealcoholise.
A look at Azanti’s exciting new product lines
Since then, Azanti hasn’t looked back, with the company having expanded its selection of outstanding drinks by introducing, for example, the non-wine based collection called the Magic Dream Line in response to Muslim customer demands.
Having unveiled this to over 22,000 visitors at the recently concluded London Muslim Shopping Festival at Olympia London, where they sold over 900 bottles, this tropical flavoured sparkling grape juice, with its swirling mystical silver clouds, has turned out to be extremely popular, particularly with those still cautious of the word ‘wine’.
One regular customer, is Kelly from south London, who was fortunate enough to be the first to pre-order the drink during its unveiling. A revert to Islam who confesses to being “a fan of Azanti’s drinks for life”, one crucial factor which encouraged her to become an ambassador for the brand, was the lengths to which the company had gone to acquire documentation that confirms and maintains its Halal status.
Having had alcoholic wine in the past, Kelly believes this non-alcoholic range compares well against its counterpart stating: “Their range of wines has a lot of the bubbles and so the same kind of effect of the alcoholic wine has, apart from you not getting up with a hangover.”
With more flavours to be released later in the year, Azanti has also unveiled the ‘Gimber’ – an organic Ginger drink, slightly sweetened with the addition of sugar cane, which can either be used as an ingredient in cocktails and foods, or as a fiery shot on its own with all the health benefits of the ginger therein. We were lucky enough to try the Azanti Ginger Mojito, mixed from their sparkling white wine, dessert wine and ginger, and served with crushed ice and lime.
And finally, the company has further added to its list of Halal wines, with the well-known Spanish non-alcoholic Tautila, which, though not as sweet as Pierre Zero, is more robust in its taste, and comes in red, white, sparkling white, and rosé.
This expansion is, in fact, part of Azanti’s introduction of a third category line comprising of premium non-alcoholic beverages which are not only lower in calories and sugar, but also differ from soda and wines in terms of their price point.
What’s more, since these are designed to be paired with certain meals, Azanti has trained its staff members, as part of its aim at educating consumers on the versatility of Halal wines, to help customers make the perfect choice in this regard.
Given the variety and quality of Azanti’s beverage, therefore, they make for great gifts for any occasion, be it an informal invite to a friend’s house for dinner or a more glamorous event such as the upcoming celebration of Eid.
Azanti’s growing popularity means new opportunities
To be partnering with Azanti is great for me, because I can really push an alternative to drinking alcohol… – Former British GT Champion James Gornall
Changing social dynamics and related habits also create problems that require appropriate solutions. Only last month, for example, the English Football Association (FA) announced that all “winning teams will be awarded with non-alcoholic ‘Champagne’ for their celebrations” to ensure inclusivity of players from different backgrounds and ages.
But what of the dilemma faced by players sensitive against being associated with alcohol companies involved in the industry?
For football agent, Saidi Kawooya, this issue is a recurring problem witnessed within the English Premier League where “players who get Man of the Match honours, will in general deny the alcoholic refreshment and take the honour instead”.
Saidi believes that Azanti is the obvious solution, not just for the football industry, but sports in general: “As a sponsor, Azanti would be phenomenal! A brand that is so well considered in the Islamic network, that the English FA would benefit, as would other FA’s across the globe.”
With both teetotallers on the rise and Azanti leading the way among Halal businesses towards a “Sober Lifestyle”, its recent sponsorship of former British GT Champion James Gornall’s team in this year’s Mini Challenge JCW only seems natural (www.jamesgornall.com).
For James, his new sponsor’s overarching ethos and message “fits perfectly” with the nature of motorsport.
“We know what alcohol does to our senses and our behaviour, so drinking around a motor vehicle, or operating anything like that, is an absolute no no. And it’s the right message to send: We shouldn’t drink and drive at all,” he says.
But what’s unique about this partnership, is that James doesn’t know of any team within the world of motor sports that’s promoting a non-alcoholic brand.
“To be partnering with Azanti is great for me, because I can really push an alternative to drinking alcohol, while being able to enjoy a glass or two before hitting the tracks.”
With the Magic Dream Line being his favourite, James adds: “I know I was keen to highlight with this project that you can still enjoy the social aspect, the culture, without having to compromise on drinking alcohol.”
A question for all the restaurateurs out there…
It’s high time chefs started using this, especially for Indian kitchens, as it’s the right combination for Indian cuisine. – 2 AA Rosettes Chef Stephen Gomes
In spite of its rapidly expanding customer base, however, the question that still remains to be answered is why restaurateurs and caterers have been slow in seeing the obvious?
One renowned chef, who’s known for his culinary innovation and who’s fully embraced the use of this non-alcoholic alternative on account of its sheer quality, is two AA Rosettes Chef Stephen Gomes.
He finds “it really surprising” that these wines haven’t found greater acceptance within the Halal restaurant, and believes that it may be down to people’s “wrong perception” of non-alcoholic wine.
In his expert opinion, since this is “the best thing out there”, it’s only a matter of time before this takes off, with the only thing required that “people give it a try once, because it’s really nice”.
Currently heading the kitchen at the soon-to-open Dusk in Brentwood – a fully Halal, 1000-cover restaurant and lounge, whose non-alcoholic bar will be taking full advantage of Azanti’s fantastic range – Chef Gomes also considers these Halal-certified wines to be “one of the best substitutes” he’s used for cooking, especially when it comes to Asian cuisine.
“I’m sure this will pick up a lot more. It is a right alternative when it comes to cooking.
“It’s high time chefs started using this, especially for Indian kitchens, as it’s the right combination for Indian cuisine. Chefs like me will love to use something like this.”
With all that said, and with a huge consumer base that’s set to grow and embrace the drive towards a sober lifestyle, now is the time for restaurateurs and caterers to take the plunge with a Halal-only drinks supplier.
Leading the way, Feed the Lion has partnered up with Azanti this Ramadan to give restaurateurs, caterers, chefs and all its readers the chance of trying their extraordinary range, with 10% off all orders.
Simply visit Azanti.co.uk and quote ‘FTL10’ at checkout (minimum £15 spend; valid till Eid ul-Adha – 15 August 2019).
(Sponsored by Azanti)