The Notorious $400 Silicon Valley Juicer Is Getting Slammed In Reviews

Let me tell you something: You don’t need a $400 juicer. In fact, no one needs a $400 juicer. It doesn’t matter if it connects to the internet. I don’t care if the juicer produces near-perfect counterfeit bills every time you use it. Even if the founder of said juice company refers to himself — with no irony — as the Steve Jobs of juicing (a thing that has actually happened, per Bloomberg). You just don’t “need it,” strictly speaking.

And yet, so many people wanted this juicer. It was efficient! It could take pre-packaged fruit packs and turn them into juice, leaving you satisfied without making a mess! It was so powerful, its founder, Doug Evans, claimed, that it would punish the plants you fed to it with four tons of unrelenting force. And that was enough hype for Silicon Valley to throw more than 100 million dollars into the cold press.

This was the juicer that would change juicing forever. The one people would be talking about for decades to come. It would be a household name, like Beyonce or Ajax!

And yet… reality was not so kind.

After the juicer debuted, Bloomberg reports, investors immediately began to experience juicer’s remorse:

But after the product hit the market, some investors were surprised to discover a much cheaper alternative: You can squeeze the Juicero bags with your bare hands. Two backers said the final device was bulkier than what was originally pitched and that they were puzzled to find that customers could achieve similar results without it. Bloomberg performed its own press test, pitting a Juicero machine against a reporter’s grip. The experiment found that squeezing the bag yields nearly the same amount of juice just as quickly—and in some cases, faster—than using the device.

It’s possible that everyone who’s squeezed the bags so far has also been bitten by some radioactive creature that’s imbued them with super strength, but it’s also possible that Evans oversold his product just a little. I mean, I’ve squeezed fruit before. You don’t need “enough force to lift two Teslas” to squash the sh*t out of a plum. That’s excessive.

Not excessive, however, is Juicero’s response to the controversy, which, by all rights, should be a little more vehement:

Juicero declined to comment. A person close to the company said Juicero is aware the packs can be squeezed by hand but that most people would prefer to use the machine because the process is more consistent and less messy. The device also reads a QR code printed on the back of each produce pack and checks the source against an online database to ensure the contents haven’t expired or been recalled, the person said. The expiration date is also printed on the pack.

Several problems:

  1. No one would prefer to buy a $400 machine and then buy packs of juice for it if they knew that the machine didn’t really do what it promised. Even people who could afford a Juicero. That’s not a thing.
  2. If making juice is too messy, then you can purchase it instead. And considering how many of us decide to get healthy and “really get into juicing this year” only then drop the practice almost immediately because juice is fine but not really worth it (or good for you), it’s probably cheaper to just buy a bottle of “squashed produce” (as Juiecero calls it) from your local grocery store and see where it takes you instead of dropping five to seven bucks a packet on Juicero’s proprietary blends.
  3. Even if you still believed in the myth and legend of Juicero, access to the juice is restricted to 17 states (up from 3 earlier this week) because the juice must be sent in packs and can’t be transported over long distances due to its perishability. You know if this thing was on Shark Tank at least one shark would be out just because of this fact and another would gently suggest that the product is solving a problem no one really has before Lori Greiner (@ me if I’m wrong, Lori) stepped in to say “I know this market. I own all of QVC. Let’s make this happen. But first, let’s change the entire product.”
  4. Juicero can’t even just sell the packets because, Bloomberg points out, they’re only available to people who have the juicer. That’s smart, probably, because I can’t even begin to imagine the wrath of someone who’s purchased the machine watching someone else squeeze the packets by hand. They’d probably have murder on their mind! That’s okay, though, because since Juicero’s also being criticized for being bigger and bulkier than promised, it’s probably an effective instrument of murder.

Anyway, maybe wait for this to go on sale before you buy one.