Juicero

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Juicero
TypePrivate
Founded2013; 9 years ago (2013)
FounderDoug Evans
DefunctDecember 1, 2017; 4 years ago (2017-12-01)
FateClosed
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 (archived, August 24, 2017)

Juicero was an American company that designed and manufactured the Juicero Press, a mechanical press marketed as a fruit and vegetable juicer. The Juicero Press was a Wi-Fi connected juicer that used proprietary, single-serving packets of pre-chopped fruits and vegetables that were sold exclusively by the company by subscription. From 2014 to 2017, the San Francisco-based firm received $120 million in startup venture capital from investors.[1]

The company attracted significant negative media attention when consumers and journalists discovered that its juice packets could be squeezed just as easily by hand as by the company's expensive machine. 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] After its demise, the company was described in the press as a symbol of a dysfunctional Silicon Valley culture. The Guardian wrote that Juicero was an example of "the absurd Silicon Valley startup industry that raises huge sums of money for solutions to non-problems."[4][5]

History[edit]

Juicero was founded in 2013[6] 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,[7] but was reduced to $399 in January 2017, 12 to 18 months ahead of schedule, in response to slow sales of the device.[8]

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.[9]

Produce packs for the press, containing blends of pulped fruits and vegetables,[10] cost between $5 and $7[8] and had a limited lifespan of about eight days.[11] Each pack had a QR code which was scanned and verified by the Internet-connected machine before it could be used.[7] CEO Jeff Dunn claimed this was a safety feature 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.[12] Industrial design for the press was completed by Yves Behar's studio Fuseproject, based in San Francisco.[13]

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]

Controversies[edit]

In 2017, Juicero was the target of widespread criticism when Bloomberg News published a story showing 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.[14] 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 dissatisfied with their Press device.[15][16]

A disassembled Juicero Press

After taking apart the device, venture capitalist Ben Einstein considered the press to be "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.[10][17][18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Juicero: Juicing boss defends $400 machine". BBC News. 2017-04-21. Archived from the original on 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  2. ^ a b Roof, Katie (September 1, 2017). "RIP Juicero, the $400 venture-backed juice machine". Tech Crunch. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Zaleski, Olivia; Huet, Ellen; Stone, Brad (7 September 2017). "Inside Juicero's Demise, From Prized Startup to Fire Sale". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  4. ^ Levin, Sam (2017-09-01). "Squeezed out: widely mocked startup Juicero is shutting down". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 2021-04-26. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  5. ^ Reilly, Claire. "Juicero is still the greatest example of Silicon Valley stupidity". CNET. Archived from the original on 2021-05-08. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  6. ^ Heater, Brian (2017-01-24). "Juicero loses another member of its founding team". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  7. ^ a b Shontell, Alyson; Carson, Biz (2017-04-20). "What it's like to use the $400 juicer that people are freaking out about". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  8. ^ a b Kowitt, Beth (2017-01-17). "Juicero Slashes Connected Juicer Price from $699 to $399". Fortune. Archived from the original on 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  9. ^ Geuss, Megan (21 April 2017). "Juice wars: Juicero has sued another juicer maker for patent infringement". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  10. ^ a b Geuss, Megan (26 April 2017). "Juicero teardown hints at a very expensively built product". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  11. ^ "A Note from Juicero's New CEO". Juicero. 2017-04-20. Archived from the original on 2017-04-20. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  12. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (2017-04-21). "Juicero, the $399 internet-connected juicer, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  13. ^ Tucker, Emma (2016-06-01). "Yves Behar designs Nespresso-style countertop juicer". Dezeen. Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  14. ^ "Silicon Valley's $400 Juicer May Be Feeling the Squeeze". Bloomberg.com. 2017-04-19. Archived from the original on 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  15. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (20 April 2017). "Juicero offering refunds to all customers after people realize $400 juicer is totally unnecessary". The Verge. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  16. ^ Huet, Ellen (2017-04-20). "Juicero Offers All Customers a Refund". Bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  17. ^ "Here's Why Juicero's Press is So Expensive – Bolt Blog". 24 April 2017. Archived from the original on 23 November 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  18. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (25 April 2017). "Juicero teardown reveals the secrets of a wildly overengineered juicer". The Verge. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.

External links[edit]