$400 VC-Backed Juice Machine Is Completely Unnecessary

Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski, reporting for Bloomberg:
Doug Evans, the company’s founder, would compare himself with Steve Jobs in his pursuit of juicing perfection. He declared that his juice press wields four tons of force — “enough to lift two Teslas,” he said. Google’s venture capital arm and other backers poured about $120 million into the startup. Juicero sells the machine for $400, plus the cost of individual juice packs delivered weekly. Tech blogs have dubbed it a “Keurig for juice.” 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 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. Juicero declined to comment.
This is hilarious. Terrific video demonstration too.
But after the product’s introduction last year, at least two Juicero investors were taken aback after finding the packs could be squeezed by hand. They also said the machine was much bigger than what Evans had proposed.
This says as much about the investors as it does about the company.

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