Juicero

Juicero was a company that made a device for fruit and vegetable juicing. The company's product was called the Juicero Press, a Wi-Fi connected juicer that used single-serving packets of pre-juiced fruits and vegetables sold exclusively by the company by subscription. The San Francisco-based firm received $120 million in startup venture capital starting in 2014, from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Alphabet Inc.[1] On September 1, 2017, the company announced that it was suspending sales of the juicer and the packets, repurchasing the juicer from its customers and searching for a buyer for the company and its intellectual property.[2][3]

Juicero
Private
FateClosed
Founded2013 (2013)
FounderDoug Evans
DefunctDecember 1, 2017 (2017-12-01)
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California
Area served
United States
Key people
Jeff Dunn, CEO 2016 - 2017
ProductsJuicer, juice packs
Number of employees
232 (June 2017)
Websitejuicero.com

History

Juicero was founded in 2013[4] by Doug Evans, who served as CEO until October 2016, when former president of Coca-Cola North America Jeff Dunn took over the position. The company's juicing press was originally priced at $699 when launched in March 2016,[5] but was reduced to $399 in January 2017, 12 to 18 months ahead of schedule, in response to slow sales of the device.[6]

Produce packs for the press, containing blends of pulped fruits and vegetables,[7] cost between $5 and $7[6] and had a limited lifespan of about 8 days.[8] Each pack had a QR code which was scanned and verified by the Internet-connected machine before it could be used.[5] CEO Jeff Dunn claimed this was to prevent packs from being used past their expiration date, and to facilitate food safety recalls, though critics felt that the feature was a form of digital rights management as it would prevent operation of the press with any produce pack not made by the company.[9] Industrial design for the press was completed by Yves Behar's studio Fuseproject, based in San Francisco.[10]

Controversies

In 2017, Juicero was the target of widespread criticism when Bloomberg News published a story suggesting that the company's produce packs could be squeezed by hand easily and effectively, and that hand-squeezing produced juice that was nearly indistinguishable in quantity and quality from the output of the company's expensive Press device.[11] The company defended its product and its process, claiming that squeezing packs by hand created undue mess and promoted a poor user experience, and later offered full refunds to any customers unsatisfied with its Press device.[12][13]

After taking apart the device, venture capitalist Ben Einstein wrote that "Juicero’s Press is an incredibly complicated piece of engineering", but that the complexity was unnecessary and likely arose from a lack of cost constraints during the design process. A simpler and cheaper implementation, suggested Einstein, would likely have produced much the same quality of juice at a price several hundred US dollars cheaper.[14][7][15]

Juicero filed a complaint in federal court in April 2017 against a competing cold-press juicing device, the Froothie Juisir, for allegedly infringing its patent and copying Juicero's trade dress.[16]

See also

References

  1. "Juicero: Juicing boss defends $400 machine". BBC News. 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  2. Roof, Katie (September 1, 2017). "RIP Juicero, the $400 venture-backed juice machine". Tech Crunch. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  3. Zaleski, Olivia; Huet, Ellen; Stone, Brad (7 September 2017). "Inside Juicero's Demise, From Prized Startup to Fire Sale". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  4. Heater, Brian (2017-01-24). "Juicero loses another member of its founding team". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  5. Shontell, Alyson; Carson, Biz (2017-04-20). "What it's like to use the $400 juicer that people are freaking out about". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  6. Kowitt, Beth (2017-01-17). "Juicero Slashes Connected Juicer Price from $699 to $399". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  7. Geuss, Megan (26 April 2017). "Juicero teardown hints at a very expensively built product". Ars Technica. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  8. "A Note from Juicero's New CEO". Juicero. 2017-04-20. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  9. Lee, Timothy B. (2017-04-21). "Juicero, the $399 internet-connected juicer, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  10. Tucker, Emma (2016-06-01). "Yves Behar designs Nespresso-style countertop juicer". Dezeen. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  11. "Silicon Valley's $400 Juicer May Be Feeling the Squeeze". Bloomberg.com. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  12. Kastrenakes, Jacob (20 April 2017). "Juicero offering refunds to all customers after people realize $400 juicer is totally unnecessary". The Verge. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  13. Huet, Ellen (2017-04-20). "Juicero Offers All Customers a Refund". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  14. "Here's Why Juicero's Press is So Expensive – Bolt Blog". 24 April 2017.
  15. Kastrenakes, Jacob (25 April 2017). "Juicero teardown reveals the secrets of a wildly overengineered juicer". The Verge.
  16. Geuss, Megan (21 April 2017). "Juice wars: Juicero has sued another juicer maker for patent infringement". Ars Technica. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
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