In an exclusive interaction to Restaurant India, Riju Gupta, Director, Juice Up shares the idea of starting up a cold pressed juice entering the fast growing healthy food market in India.
How is Juice up different from regular fruit or vegetable juices sold in tetra-packs?
The orange or apple juices which you get in tetra packs, from any brand, are pasteurised, reconstituted juices. This means they are made by boiling and concentrating fruit pulp to a thick slurry and then reconstituted by mixing with water. This liquid is then boiled again to pasteurise it and lots of different chemicals are added as preservatives. Hence these juices have a life of six months to a year and even more but severely lack nutrients and are little better than aerated beverages in terms of their health benefits.
On the other hand, Juice up is the only brand in India which is completely pure juice. Our juicing procedure is to slowly grind the fruits and vegetables and then even more slowly squeeze it to extract the pure juice This juice is immediately bottled without adding anything at all. Hence the life of our juice is only four days, that too when kept cold in the fridge. It has no pasteurization, processing, reconstitution etc. It is like creating an awesome juice in your own house.
What are the challenges you face during online order and delivery services?
The only challenge is that since our juice has no preservatives and has not undergone any preservation process, we need to keep it chilled around 5 degrees Celcius throughout. So we need a constant cold chain supply chain unlike the tetra packets which can be stored in 40-45 degree Celsius. It is important that from production till consumption, our juice bottles are not exposed to heat which can cause spoilage. For this we use specialised delivery boxes with pharmaceutical grade cold packs and special delivery vans.
How do you maintain the healthiness of the juice? What are the ingredients used in making it?
By definition, our product is a pure juice. We don’t use any preservation techniques which destroy nutrition. It is as pure as possible, and so it is highly nutritious. In fact gram per gram it is more nutritious since each bottle has the juice from almost 1 kilogram of raw material. In the normal course, we cannot consume that much raw produce anyways, so we end up getting that much nutrition if we drink even one bottle a day.
We have now fixed recipes using different constituents like cucumber, apple, lemon, amla turmeric etc. These are ayurvedically balanced juices with an optimal mix of fruits and vegetables. However, we realise that in India people like juices which taste good too, so we have ensured that our juices are really tasty while maintaining their nutritive value.
Is it possible to make cold-pressed juices at home? Why so, explain?
Definitely possible! The only requirement is that you have a cold-pressed juicing machine. Usually the juicers in our houses are blender type juices, which grates the produce into very small pieces at a very high speed and it also generates heat which destroys a lot of nutrients. Now, many companies are also making such machines but they are still very expensive compared to normal juices.
Who are your target audience? Do you also deliver to restaurants and hotels (name some)?
Our target audience is any individual who is health conscious, understands nutrition, fitness conscious and who wants to take care of their body. Others categories could be mothers who do not want to give their children carbohydrate and sugar laden drinks like Pepsi or Coca Cola or even Tropicana.
Yes, we deliver our juices to a lot of the top restaurants in Delhi-NCR. The popular ones are Bohemia in GK, Olive, Fat Lulu’s and many more.
It is said that Juice Up offers a range of 100 per cent raw and fresh cold pressed juices. Elaborate.
100 percent raw means 100 percent pure! Pure means we do not mix anything to the juice; no added water, preservatives or sugar in it. The time taken for the fruit and vegetables to be removed from the farm, for us to make the juice and for it to reach your home are two to three days. For example with apples, we receive the apples within 2 days of their being plucked in the orchards in Himachal Pradesh, and from then it takes another 2 days at best for our juice to be made and sent to your house. So that is a total of 4 days from farm to home.
As you claim that you are serving six variants of juices in Delhi-NCR. Which is your most revenue generating variety?
As of now, we have six variants. In which our citrus blend is seasonal, and it is not available right now. There is really no best-selling variant as different people like different juices. So, all our products generate more or less equal same revenue.
What is your expansion plans? (Target cities)
For now we are planning to cover mainly Delhi and NCR, which is a big enough market for at least one more year. And we are also looking at different technologies which might help us distribute to other cities. The target cities will be the metro cities mainly Bombay, Bangalore, Calcutta, Hyderabad etc.
What is your view on FSSAI law?
I think we need regulations in food. More importantly regulations and laws should be implemented properly and without prejudice and also detailed guidelines should be there on what one can do and one cannot so that people in this industry can get a clear understanding of the limits within which they have to operate, leaving no grey areas for creating confusion.