Remember Juicero? It was the darling of glass-eyed Silicon Valley investors just a year ago. But it turns out the the $US400 ($534) juice-making gadget is very literally useless. You can actually just buy the juice packets and squeeze the goods into your glass with your bare hands, no gadget required.
If you're one of the poor souls who paid for this overpriced piece of counter candy, let us be the first to say: You deserve this pain. Juicero made headlines last year by promising fresh green juice with the convenience of a Keurig coffeemaker. It never seemed like a good deal.
Here's the pitch. You buy the juicer machine. You buy the pouches with the juice goodies. Combine the two, and you have a glass of delicious green juice. By the way, the machine costs $US400 ($534). Pouches of juice ingredients cost $US5 to $US7 ($7 to $9) dollars a pop. And yet, according to a new report from Bloomberg, you could make your yuppie juice more quickly if you threw the machine out the window and hand-squeezed the bag into your glass. Hand-squeezing apparently takes about 90 seconds. The machine takes two minutes.
This news is a real dick punch to the Silicon Valley investors who poured over $US120 million ($160 million) into Juicero. These sad souls put up their own cash, believing that people would love the idea of a Keurig-style home juice machine. Little did they know that people could just buy the pouches and squeeze their own juice, no $US400 ($534) machine required.
Then again, something always seemed a bit off about Juicero. Back when the company's founders wanted to charge an insulting $US700 ($934) for the useless machine in 2016, much lauded VC outfits like Kleiner Perkins Claufield & Byers, Google Ventures and even Campbell's Soup offered up millions of dollars to fund the startup. Juicero founder Doug Evans compared the company to Apple and Tesla in their early days. By October, Evans had been replaced by former Coca Cola executive Jeff Dunn who immediately lowered the price of the hardware from $US700 ($934) to $US400 ($534). This is what Dunn said about the hardware a year ago, emphasis ours:
The Press itself creates three to four tons of pressure — enough to lift two Teslas — and enough to squeeze out every drop of organic fresh kale, spinach, apples, and other fruits and vegetables into your glass. We also created a connected system with the Juicero App.
Hey, guess what, dudes? It's worthless. Juicero seemed like a trick from the start because it was. Now we have hard proof. You don't need to buy a machine for $US700 ($934) or $US400 ($534) or even $100, because you can just buy the already overpriced juice packets for $US5 ($7) and squeeze the ingredients into a glass with the priceless power of your own hands. You could also spend $30 on a cheap blender, $15 on some fresh fruits and vegetables, and serve yourself green juice for a whole week.
Convenience is great, but it's no substitute for smart financial decisions. Whether you're an investor or just a lowly consumer, Juicero is a bad deal. The idea is bad. The gadget is useless. The juice might be good. But everyone should use common sense before throwing money at a bad idea.