Back in 2003, a huge controversy erupted when a Delhi-based public interest research institution, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) accused a dozen popular soft drinks brands including the much-loved Pepsi and Coca-Cola among other brands for having high levels of pesticides and insecticides in their products. While the controversy created a huge uproar at the time, eventually everyone forgot about it, as is wont to happen with news cycles, and continued consuming the same.
Over the years however, despite various struggles, the market shares of these brands have grown significantly. At the same time, there’s an entire section of people moving towards healthier life-style choices and eating habits. But if you had to give up these soda-pops, there needs to be an alternative and you’ll be surprised to know there are more than a few brands that have arrived in India, casting aside the sjuice and beverage companies, promising to provide a change for your taste-buds. Many claim to be healthy, nutritious options, while a few just promise refreshing new flavour profiles we needed more of in our country.
[Note to readers--The following companies are presented in no particular order of preference, and have been arranged alphabetically.]
“Buying 24 Mantra from Sresta means you are a votary of the healthy, nutritious movement.”
As early as 1992, Raj Seelam, the mastermind behind 24 Mantra, while working for an agricultural products company, realised that the massive use of pesticides and fertilisers in items that we consume on a daily basis would ultimately harm everyone. This coupled with the disheartening conditions of the Indian farmers was the impetus that led to the inception of Sresta Foods that provides organic food items ranging from spices and masala mixes to cookies under the brand name of ‘24 Mantra’.
The Juicy Details: They source their fruits from farmers in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka that practice organic farming, which means by consuming their products you will not be leaving your body vulnerable to the ill-effects of pesticides. They do not use any artificial ripening or hastening processes, ensuring that every drop that you consume is natural and wholesome.
HG Loves: Their organic apple juice will make you forget all the other tetra-packed drinks.
“Don’t drown your indulgences, drink your ANTIDOTE!”
ANTIDOTE is a family venture that was started up by two sisters, Carol and Nadia Singh along with their mother, Simran Singh. It built with the aim to provide urban Indian youth with a simple on-the-go solution for complete health and nutrition through its products, thereby helping in counteracting the effects of a stressful lifestyle.They use highly organic produce for all their drinks which are 100% raw & pure, 100% artificial sweeteners. preservative, dairy and gluten free.
The Juicy Details: What makes their drinks different from the rest is that all their cold-pressed juices come fortified with all-natural “super-food extracts”. Each one of their 6-pronged cleanse programs is targeted at a specific aspect of your body such as weight-loss, anti-ageing, detox etc.
HG Loves: Their SKINNY DOWN program and almond mylks.
“Our juice cleanses not only revitalize the body and mind, but they also repair previous damage with natural, nutritious ingredients.”
It was when two friends, Rishaad Vazirally and Natasha Hinshaw, shared their own struggles with health and weight, respectively, that the idea of Fresh Pressery came about at all. Based in Bengaluru, the duo started creating recipes for concoctions that will help its consumers embrace a new, healthier and happier life.
The Juicy Details: Fresh Pressery offers six varieties of vegetable juices with small hints of fruits, created using the cold press technology, that are guaranteed help you detox . Since they don’t use any heat, all the vitamins and minerals remain intact giving you the full nutritional goodness of each ingredient. Depending on the type of cleaning package that you opt for, the six bottles will be delivered to you, at your door-step.
HG Loves: Their almond milk that contains sea salt, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and filtered water, which not just gives you a good dose of protein but also the comfort of drinking the good old ‘badaam milk’ we all used to love.
4. Good Juicery
“Wonderful sparkling fruit juices is made with only a handful of ingredients and nothing artificial. Because good times don’t need to be complicated.”
After moving to India after several years abroad, Michelle Bauer was surprised by the definite gap in the market in respect to demand and supply of packaged natural juice drinks. It took her two years of research before the concept of Good Juicery to be actualised. With this brand, she hopes to simply provide people with a healthier alternative, because “life’s pleasurable moments needs a little sparkle.”
The Juicy Details: Each can of this carbonated beverage is made with 40% fruit juice and is completely devoid of any sort of preservatives or artificial colours and flavours, making this an indulgence that your body can afford. These sparkling drinks comes in three distinct flavours– Sparkling Passion fruit, Sparkling Pink Guava and Sparkling Apple. Apart from the guava, which is sourced locally, the other two fruits are actually imported from Europe making sure that you consume only the best.
Hg Loves: Their yummy ‘Sparkling Pink Guava’ which makes for a perfect thirst-quencher on a hot summer day.
5. Juice Up
“We are tastier!”
The brainchild of four friends, Riju, Chandan Agarwal, Rahul and Manu Bhasin, Juice Up has been made for providing the fitness-freaks in Delhi a good dose of fruity-veggie goodness. Armed with enough knowledge to knock off all synthetic juice brands off the shelves, this brand enjoys a good competition because they believe it will help them get a better understanding of what the consumers want.
The Juicy Details: They offer eight seasonal flavours, which means if you pick a favourite you might find yourself waiting to get another sip till next year. They have a choice of cashew milks which they produce only on demand. Apart from the Anarkali which runs all through the year, the remaining 4 flavours like Organic Orange can only be found during the orange season.
HG Loves: Anarkali juice made with a fruity combination of pomegranate and apples because they make our sweet tooth happy.
“Happiness is knowing that someone, somewhere is healthier because we have made the juice that keeps them healthy.”
This brand is the brainchild of Tejomay Rastogi and Avrio Rebello, who wanted to make the option of ‘going healthy’ a matter of convenience for everyone. They wanted to actualise the saying that ‘Prevention is better than cure’ by creating a product that would help people consume goods that are beneficial and nutritional for them with ease. Their drinks ensure that your body gets the necessary daily intake of fruits, which will keep you fit and energetic through and through.
The Juicy Details: They provide 15 fruit flavours that vary from season to season and 8 varieties of vegetable flavours that will provide you with all possible vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body needs. They use fresh, local and seasonal produce that makes it very palatable and are constantly working towards creating new, exciting flavours.
HG Loves: Their pineapple based ‘Minty quench’ (papaya, pineapple & mint) and ‘Memoryfix’ (pineapple, apple, kiwi, lemon) for it’s refreshing bursts of taste.
“I think we understand the Indian palate very well and we curate our flavours accordingly.”
When Vishal Jain realised that India was in need of something new and genuine in the health department, he decided to bring the concept of cold-pressed juices that had become quite the rage internationally, in to India. The biggest challenge for them was create a product that would not just be beneficial and appealing to people’s taste-buds but also cost-effective enough for them to be affordable.
The Juicy Details: They promise (and deliver) juices of the highest quality not just because of their careful selection of ingredients but also because of the technology used. If you’re already assuming that health compromises on taste, fear not, because they have chosen the combination of their products in such a way that they are not just nutritional but also lip-smacking tasty.
HG Loves: One Apple Beetroot Carrot juice, please?
8. Just Pressed
Rahul Monga and Anu Alagh are a couple who launched JustPressed in Delhi and Gurgaon, after a year’s worth of research, experimentations with recipes and consultations with nutritionists. The brand has been tirelessly working towards providing juices that lets you soak up all the goodness of the fruits and vegetables, without compromising on taste.
The Juicy Details: Their ingredients are all mostly locally procured fruits and vegetables with often a small portion of exotic fruits and greens making it into the mix. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, their juices won’t last for more than 3 days in refrigeration because no preservatives are added, but they will keep you fresh and energetic for years (if you are a regular customer, of course).
HG Loves: The creamy ‘Charge’ made from a combination of coconut meat, almond, honey, vanilla, cashew, chia seeds and cinnamon. You know it sounds delicious!
“We use traditional Indian recipes that will take you back to your childhood. We take the culture of one area and open it up to the whole country to love.”
Paperboat is a brand that emerged when the co-founders themselves found it impossible to find ‘aam panna’ in any of the shops in Gurgaon. Having grown up drinking home-made mango goodness, the inability to find it was disheartening from them and they realised they needed to start something that gave people the Indian experience.
The Juicy Details: For them it is all about the nostalgia and the comfort each drink gives its consumers. They focus on creating juices that stick to the home-recipes (as much as possible) without using any preservatives or chemicals. In fact, kokum which was a fruit that was popular in the North came to be one of the favourites in the area, thanks to their authentic flavours.
HG Loves: There is no doubt about this–their ‘Aam Panna’ juice with all the sourness and yumminess of ‘kaccha aam’.
10. Raw Pressery
“It is no longer cool to be seen hungover with a bucket of fried chicken – the trend is moving towards waking up early for a session of power yoga and RAW.”
“Being healthy shouldn’t have to be so complicated,” was the thought that drove Anuj Rakyan’s to create something that is honest and healthy. From splattering his kitchen ceiling with carrots from a Norwalk cold-press juicer to spending countless hours with farmers, nutritionists and medical experts in order to understand the intricacies of nutrition, Rakyan ensured that he left no stones unturned in providing its customers with cold-pressed juices and cleanses.
The Juicy Details: RAW Pressery is India’s first cold-pressed juice brand that works towards providing a functional beverage for everyday consumption of nutritious fruit and vegetable juices. Each one of their blends have focused benefits and have specific nutritional impact for its consumers. And in order to make healthy living easier for you, they offer daily home-delivery that will drop each day’s detox cleanse set at your door-steps.
HG Loves: Their TRIM (kale, spinach, doodhi, amla, celery, green apple, ginger and lemon) which is practically a salad in bottle that might be a little hard to swallow but helps to alkalize the system and help you manage your weight.
11. Relish Nutrition
“We stand by our product. When we’re done standing by it, we put it in a jar and deliver it to you.”
Relish Nutrition was born out of Ganesh Krishnan and his wife Sowmya Ganesh’s quest to find healthy food while they were living abroad. After experimenting within their homes for years, this couple realised that they had to do something to help provide healthy beverages to others just like them. Once they moved to India, they set their plan into action and thus, Relish Nutrition came into existence, offering cold-pressed juices, smoothies and nut milks. Their subscription plus delivery model ensures that their customers get their smoothies without any hitch.
The Juicy Details: They take great pride in their transparency that allows their consumers to know what they are taking in. You might not find exotic ingredients like kale and acai berry in their juices but they offer a wide range of smoothies, cold-pressed juices and almond milk, using ingredients sourced from farms across Tamil Nadu, that are designed to help you feel fresher and rejuvenated. You know they are selling the real deal too because instead of using refined sugars, they stick to using dates and honey as sweeteners, if they have to. Since all their cold-pressed juices are vegetable-based rather than fruit, the natural sugar content is also very low in their drinks. They don’t intend to stop at only making its consumers healthier but also the environment which is why they have tied up with Paperman, a company that collects used recyclable pet bottles from the client homes and directs it into a recycle pool.
HG Loves: Their spinach based ‘Green Mile’ juice that might just help you build muscles like Popeye!
“Consumers wanted a change and we gave it. People were receptive because what we have is new.”
Silver Ice Beverages (SIB) was born at a point when the country was saturated from consuming the Pepsi- Coke variants, with the aim to provide them youngsters with a taste of something different. With the aim to bring in some new exotic flavours to the market, at reasonable prices, Rio was created.
The Juicy Details: They draw from the best of both worlds– they are juice-based carbonated drinks, which allows you to enjoy fresh, fruity flavours without having to miss out on the fizz that everyone loves. Available in six different flavours, this is a brand that won’t miss your eye thanks to its particularly funky packaging.
HG Loves: Their ‘Chakra Acai Berry’ drink for its fresh burst of flavours and for being something unique.
Words: Krupa Joseph