At least you know you can still grab a drink from a Juicero pack should the machine ever break down.
The high-tech juicer had Silicon Valley investors drooling with delight when they first set eyes on it in 2016, but it turns out you can squeeze the juice out of the pack using your bare hands in the same time as it takes the pack-pressing Juicero to perform that task.
While Juicero founder Doug Evans has declared that the juice press is capable of four tons of force — “enough to lift two Teslas,” he said — reporters from Bloomberg recently managed to extract the juice by squeezing the packs using only their hands.
“Hands did the job quicker, but the device was slightly more thorough,” the report said. “Reporters were able to wring 7.5 ounces of juice in a minute and a half. The machine yielded 8 ounces in about two minutes.”
Juicero’s specially designed juice packs cost between $5 and $8, and you can only purchase them if you have the machine.
Previously, a person “close to the company” told Bloomberg that the machine is mess-free, whereas using your hands might not be. Also, the Juicero machine automatically checks via a barcode on the pack that its contents are still fresh, although a date is also printed on the back if you want to check for yourself.
But Juicero has come out with a lengthier response to the bare hands debacle. In a blog post on Medium, Juicero’s new CEO Jeff Dunn made a case for the expensive juicer and why it is still better than not having one.
“Our connected Press itself is critical to delivering a consistent, high quality and food safe product,” Dunn wrote. Citing a closed loop safety system that protects customers in real time (Juicero can remotely disable a Produce Pack if they find any contamination), the machine’s ability to press a pack consistently to deliver “the best combination of taste and nutrition every time,” and the connected nature of the juicer, Dunn noted, “the value of Juicero is more than a glass of cold-pressed juice.”
That said, Juicero is willing to admit that it is listening to the criticisms that have arisen from this rather embarrassing discovery. Juicero extended its Happiness Guarantee to any Juicero customer who wasn’t fully satisfied by the juicer for 30 days after the hand-juicing news first broke. “That means that if you send us your Press, we’ll refund the money you paid for it,” Dunn said.
But now, the company clearly recognizes that the 30-day window simply wasn’t enough to assuage customers, or more importantly, garner new ones. In a letter to the company obtained by Fortune, Dunn informed his team that Juicero would be undergoing a “strategic shift” to lower the price of the juicers even further.
“The current prices of $399 for the Press and $5 to $7 for produce Packs are not a realistic way for us to fulfill our mission at the scale to which we aspire,” he noted. While no specific price adjustments were outlined in the letter, Dunn previously told Fortune that the company was hoping to get the price tag to less than $300, and a source told Fortune that the $200 may even be possible.
So if you haven’t gotten a Juicero but are still interested, you may want to wait just a bit longer. Or you could let someone else do it.
Update: Juicero plans to further slash the price of its juicer