|Defunct||December 1, 2017|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California|
|Products||Juicer, juice packs|
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. 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.
Juicero was founded in 2013 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, but was reduced to $399 in January 2017, 12 to 18 months ahead of schedule, in response to slow sales of the device.
Produce packs for the press, containing blends of chopped fruits and vegetables prepared by workers in a Juicero facility, cost between $5 and $7 each, and each pack had a limited lifespan of about 8 days. Each pack had a QR code which was scanned and verified by the Internet-connected machine before it could be used. 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. Industrial design for the press was completed by Yves Behar's studio Fuseproject, based in San Francisco.
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. 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.
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. Prominent YouTube electronics and equipment reviewer AvE came to similar conclusions in his own disassembly and review video for the Juicero, demonstrating the ease with which the produce packets could be squeezed by hand, and the considerable over-design and high build quality of the interior – the parts cost of which appeared to be over $1000 per machine.
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- Geuss, Megan (21 April 2017). "Juice wars: Juicero has sued another juicer maker for patent infringement". Ars Technica. Retrieved 22 April 2017.