We never bought the hype on Juicero's $700 connected cold-press machine, but the company's CEO says anyone who did pay for one can get their money back. In a blog post on Medium, CEO Jeff Dunn responded to a Bloomberg report that pointed out the company's produce packs can be squeezed by hand, without buying the juicer at all. According to Dunn, for the next 30 days any Juicero owner can return their machine for a full refund (since it launched, the price has dropped to $400) -- this courtesy presumably doesn't extend to any of the investors who backed it.
First, the Press. Our connected Press itself is critical to delivering a consistent, high quality and food safe product because it provides:
- The first closed loop food safety system that allows us to remotely disable Produce Packs if there is, for example, a spinach recall. In these scenarios, we're able to protect our consumers in real-time.
- Consistent pressing of our Produce Packs calibrated by flavor to deliver the best combination of taste and nutrition every time.
- Connected data so we can manage a very tight supply chain, because our product is live, raw produce, and has a limited lifespan of about 8 days.
Dunn's blog post justifies Juicero's existence and its business model by claiming the machine and its process serve to ensure a quality end product without a lot of work. The refund offer makes it feel less scammy, even if it remains overpriced and over-engineered. The examples Dunn offers aren't compelling to me, but I don't own a juicer, and if I did, I wouldn't be compelled by stats indicating it squeezes with enough force "to lift two Teslas." Its barcode scanning of produce packs could, in theory, notify customers of a recalled ingredient, or remind them to drink up before the packs expire, but... so could an email.