Founder: Doug Evans
Industry: Food and Beverage
Year Founded: 2013
Year Defunct: 2017
Juicero was founded in 2013 by Doug Evans. 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.
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 pulped fruits and vegetables, cost between $5 and $7 and had a limited lifespan of about 8 days.
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 dissatisfied 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.
The company went bankrupt in 2017.
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