Earlier this week, it was reported that the $400 Juicero machine didn't perform its primary task - emptying the firm's proprietary juice bags - much better than a pair of hands. Now, the company's CEO has responded to the revelations by offering customers their money back for the next 30 days.
In Medium post yesterday, Jeff Dunn wrote that "we know hacking consumer products is nothing new," and pointed out some reasons why using the Juicero is a better option than manually squashing the fruit sacks:
1. 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.
2. Consistent pressing of our Produce Packs calibrated by flavor to deliver the best combination of taste and nutrition every time.
3. 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.
We already knew that the Juicero's QR scanner assures no out of date/recalled bags are squeezed (and that only the company's own packages are used). But does that really justify the $400?
Dunn goes on to paint a picture of the people whose lives are so enriched by his company's product.
The value is in how easy it is for a frazzled dad to do something good for himself while getting the kids ready for school, without having to prep ingredients and clean a juicer.
It's in how the busy professional who needs more greens in her life gets App reminders to press Produce Packs before they expire, so she doesn't waste the hard-earned money she spent on them.
If, for some reason, Dunn hasn't convinced you that the juicer is a great investment, for the next 30 days owners can get a full refund on the machine.
In a final attempt to get consumers to buy/keep one of its machines, Juicero head of communications Chrissy Trampedach posted a video showing what the contents of a juice bag look like without the Juicero's four tons of force.
This is, of course, quite different to the way that Bloomberg's reporters extracted the juice. Trampedach opens the bag with scissors and scoops the pulp out with her hands. She also plays with it a bit, just to show how gross and sloppy the contents are.
Bloomberg's Olivia Zaleski, one of the reporters who squeezed the bags in the original feature, told Gizmodo they simply applied light pressure to the pack and the juice poured out with the same consistency as that from the Juicero.
"I know it's hard to imagine that there is little more to this situation than a light squeeze," Zaleski said.