- Business Insider/Alyson Shontell
To some people, Juicero, a juicer that connects to WiFi and extracts juice out of Juicero-branded packets, is a symbol for what’s wrong with Silicon Valley and venture-backed companies.
The device is priced out of reach for most people and solves a problem they don’t have, critics say.
But legendary designer Yves Behar doesn’t see the problem with the $400 juicer he designed. He likened the kitchen gadget to a coffee grinder and said that customers are “very, very happy” in a recent interview with Dezeen.
“I have a machine to grind my coffee,” he told Dezeen. “I don’t grind my coffee with my fists. That would be a lot of work and make a lot of mess. I don’t see a difference between the two situations.”
- Business Insider
“The company is doing well, the people who have the product are actually very, very happy with it, and the reorder rate is actually very very strong,” Behar said.
These comments were in reaction to a series of stories earlier this year that suggested Juicero’s meticulously engineered machine wasn’t even necessary to extract juice from Juicero’s sold-separately juice packets – Bloomberg discovered that you could squeeze the packets by hand.
But the company has consistently argued that its machine provides by far the best experience for drinking juice from Juicero packets.
In case you haven’t kept up with JuiceGate, here’s what you need to know:
- In 2015, Juicero raises $100 million in stealth promising to change the way fruits and vegetables are delivered and consumed. It launches a year later, in early 2016, at a price of $699. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow are said to have tried it and been blown away. In October 2016, Juicero’s founder and first CEO, Doug Evans, steps away from day-to-day responsibilities, and names former Coca-Cola executive Jeff Dunn CEO. The Juicero gets a price cut from $699 to $399. In early 2017, Bloomberg discovers that Juicero packets can be mostly squeezed by hand, setting off a social media firestorm. Juicero CEO Jeff Dunn responds to the Bloomberg report: “What you will get with hand-squeezed hacks is a mediocre (and maybe very messy) experience that you won’t want to repeat once, let alone every day.” Juicero offers to provide full refunds for all Juicero customers who aren’t satisfied with it. A hardware designer tears down the Juicero machine and finds that it’s been over-engineered and must cost a lot to manufacture.
- Kif Leswing