There's just one catch.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated May 24, 2017
whole foods
Credit: ©  RJ Sangosti / Getty Images

Convincing people to spend $399 on a juicer that is only able to juice its own proprietary “produce packs” may sound like a tough sell – even in spite of the fact that some media outlets anointed it with the buzz-worthy title of “The Keurig of Juicers.” But apparently the people behind Juicero have figured out a great way to get more exposure, partnering with Whole Foods to put Juicero-driven juice bars in 11 locations in Southern California.

When Juicero launched last year, it inspired both interest and backlash. The concept is compelling: It’s billed as “the first at-home, cold-press juicer” allowing people to “make organic, cold-pressed juice … at the push of a button.” But the price tag – originally around $700 – and the fact that the appliance works off its own juice packets led some to label the product controversial, since these packs both limit the juicer’s versatility and also create more waste in the name of being healthier.

But thanks to a new pact with Whole Foods, more people will have a chance to try out the Juicero with a far smaller investment. According to LA Biz, juice bars (literally one to three Juicero machines) in Southern California 11 Whole Foods will provide customers an opportunity to grab a glass of freshly-pressed Juicero juice for just $5 a pop. Granted, that’s still not cheap, but it’s far cheaper than $399 and not out of line with what a similar juice would cost you elsewhere. And in a smart marketing move, these Juicero juice bars are “self-serve,” allowing shoppers to really get hands on with the juicing experience.

What isn’t mentioned in the press release is whether satisfied customers can walk out of Whole Foods with a Juicero appliance all their own – though if that isn’t the case, it would certainly seem like a missed sales opportunity. Because if there’s one thing Whole Foods has mastered, it’s convincing people to suddenly spend a whole lot more than they planned on when they walked in.

If the idea of self-service juicing at the grocery store is intriguing, Juiceros will be in the following stores:

● Santa Monica – 1425 Montana Ave.
● Pasadena – 465 South Arroyo Pkwy
● Redondo Beach – 405 North Pacific Coast Hwy
● Playa Vista – 12746 West Jefferson Blvd
● Irvine – 8525 Irvine Center Drive
● Newport Beach – 415 Newport Center Drive
● Laguna Niguel – 23932 Aliso Creek Road
● Huntington Beach – 7881 Edinger Ave Suite 150
● La Jolla – 8825 Villa La Jolla Drive
● Brea – 3301 Imperial Hwy., corner Valencia Avenue
● Tarzana – available March 10 – 18700 Ventura Blvd