All it took was a few hours of travelling and packed pouches of Moradabad’s famous sugarcane juice, for Dipin Kapur to find a ready-to-drink alternative in the market. “By the time I reached home that day, the drink had turned stale. It had become a darker shade of brown and was smelling bad,” says Kapur. Not finding any packaged version of the juice, Kapur, together with his friends Neeraj Jalan and Sachin Goel, decided to manufacture it themselves. So, Nutricane Beverages launched OMG! (Oh My Ganna) in 2017 in three variants: Cumin Crush, Lemon Love and Ginger Groove.
During the research process around 2015, the trio got onboard a team of microbiologists, scientists and food technologists. It is then that they found out the reason for the unavailability of packaged sugarcane juice. Kapur explains, “Freshly extracted sugarcane juice has a shelf life of 10-15 minutes. Other juices are pasteurised, which kills microbes and increases its shelf life. But this is not possible for sugarcane as heating it would cause crystallisation of the juice.” Two years later, they came up with a process they termed FreshFusion which increases the shelf life of the product without using chemical preservatives. The technique, however, works for selected varieties of sugarcane sourced from Haryana, Maharashtra and major parts of Uttar Pradesh. This juice has a non-refrigerated shelf life of six months. The process is now waiting for a patent.
OMG! is packaged in 250 ml glass bottles and costs 40 promising 80% pure juice. The remaining 20% includes water, mixed at different quantities depending on the sweetness of the sugarcane to ensure uniform taste. Although, cold press (hydraulic process) can be used to extract sugarcane juice in its purest form, the shelf life is restricted to 21 days through refrigeration. “The method is expensive too,” says Kapur.
The start-up targets busy youth in metro cities who are looking to drink something refreshing on the go. Although the product was launched across Delhi-NCR, Chennai and Bangalore, the product also received positive response from tier-II cities such as Jaipur, Pune and states such as Jammu and Kashmir.
As of now, OMG! is available at all leading modern trade outlets such as Need, Modern Bazaar, Reliance Fresh, JMart & Spencer’s. One can also order online at Amazon & Milkbasket or directly from OMG’s website. Apart from the retail segment, OMG! is also gaining popularity at hotels and restaurants across Delhi-NCR such as The Lodhi, Burger Singh and American Shack. Next up, the start-up wants to launch a mango, guava and litchi-flavoured drink while keeping sugarcane juice as the base sweetener. Sure, bottled sugarcane juice can never beat the roadside goodness, but OMG comes close for times when you yearn the drink the most.