Without use of the $400 juicer you're supposed to buy to use them.
Something has always been a bit odd about Juicero—billed by many as a “Keurig for juice.” Similar to how Keurig only works with its own k-cups, Juicero’s cold-press juicing system only works with the brand’s proprietary “produce packs.” But unlike a Keurig which clearly is pumping hot water through coffee grounds, just exactly what a Juicero does is a bit of a mystery. Now, a scathing Bloomberg investigation suggests that the $399 machine, which originally retailed for $699, may do very little at all. In fact, you might be able to achieve similar results simply by squeezing the brand’s “produce packs” with your bare hands.
According to Juicero’s website, the high-tech machine applies “8,000 pounds of pressure … to the fruits and veggies living inside the breathable Pack.” Elsewhere on its site, a blog post credited to founder Doug Evans states, “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.” However, according to Bloomberg, two investors in the product, which has received a massive $120 million in funding, were startled to discover that customers could achieve similar results without using the juicer at all. “There is no doubt the packs can be squeezed without the machine,” Doug Chertok, another Juicero investor, told Bloomberg.
The financial site conducted an on-camera test and came to the same conclusion. “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,” Bloomberg wrote.
Though Juicero declined to comment on Bloomberg’s article, a “person close to the company” said Juicero knows this is the case but still believes the machine has its benefits: It’s more consistent and less messy than squeezing bags by hand. The same source also pointed out that the machine scans a QR code to check the pack for freshness, though as Bloomberg points out, the pack also has an expiration date printed right on it.
These findings come at a pivotal time for the company. Just yesterday, Juicero announced that it was expanding from three states to seventeen. In that announcement, CEO Jeff Dunn said, “Juicero was created out of a dream to make it easier for people to consume more healthy fresh fruits and vegetables every day.” Turns out maybe it’s even easier than Juicero has been letting on.