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Juicero Rises From the Dead as a Soap Machine

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Juicero Rises From the Dead as a Soap Machine

Quick history on Juicero

Juicero is known as one of the worst technology startup disasters in recent history. The company raised  $120 Million from big name VC’s like Kleiner Perkins and Alphabet Inc. (yes, that’s Google), and about a year later went kaput. The company struggled from the very beginning. To start off, many people thought that Juicero was an April Fool’s joke. The $700 machine appeared to press pouches of pre-made juice into a glass, which many people thought was ridiculous.

The “produce packs” were actually packs of ground up produce, but it was too difficult to convince people it was indeed a fresh product. After factoring in shipping costs for the packs, juice from a Juicero costs about $1 per ounce of juice—much more than if you were to purchase juice at a juice bar or store. The nail in the juice coffin was a bloomberg article that showed a video of user squeezing one of the pouches by hand, proving the WiFi connected machine was basically useless.

Rise, rise, rise!

Juicero has apparently been reincarnated on Kickstarter as a soap-making machine called Cleanyst.

The design of the machine is very obviously similar to a Juicero, and not just the way it looks from the outside. It also swings open in the front and takes pouches of mixture just like the Juicero. However, a Cleanyst spokesperson told the verge “it s not related to any preexisting products.”

Are they really going to flat out deny any inspiration? Denying is just going to (and already has) set them up for ridicule in the media.

Another issue is that the design and other IP are not necessarily available to use.  Juicero would have at least attempted to find a buyer for their IP as part of the bankruptcy process. If a new company owns the IP now, they may have a pretty easy suit here. If that happens, this will actually be the second time a project launched on Kickstarter then got sued over copying the Juicero design.

The other Juicero copy on Kickstarter

A few months after Juicero launched, a ridiculously similar machine (that apparently can make banana juice) was launched on Kickstarter called the Juisir, that had a lot of its own issues, including the fact that it looked so similar to Juicero that they were sued and eventually changed the design, and changed the name to JUlaVIE (terrible).

Early Juisir vs current JUlaVIE

The concept of this machine is that the user cuts up produce into pieces then presses it in the press. They figured you just don’t need a grinder. The issue here is that you simply cannot get much juice out of many varieties of produce without grinding it first.

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About The Author

Instagram: @cwjuice

I’ve been around juicing all my life. My Dad built his first hydraulic juice press in 1976 and founded the company Goodnature Products, Inc. I have incredible memories of having “cider parties” when we would invite all the people in our rural neighborhood over to make apple juice. To this day, when I taste apple juice made on a Goodnature press, a rush of nostalgia runs through my body.

I pride myself on guiding our clients into the world of cold-pressed juice and showing them how much fun this industry can be. I love talking business, technology, and marketing.

3 Responses

  1. I have always believed Doug Evans sold the idea of Juicero based on pressure on coarsely chopped produce. While to anyone specializing in two-stage juice this is obviously flawed he was a good enough salesman to sell the concept to the Silicone Valley. As time passed it became clear that this concept would not work but the prospectus had been written and shares sold. At this point, he realized he had to package, stage1 pulp in his juice pre-packs. Now he was selling bottled juice (without the bottle) that had to be extracted at home. The story gets worse and worse, no? He also needed an extended chain of co-packers to make the juice packs, turns out he needed to go to Del Monte corp to attain the required volume.

    My question is, where was the oversight through all this process? What finally happened, two reporters from Bloomberg, hand squeezing the juice from a pulp pack was predictable. Did I mention the CEO was from Pepsi Cola a sugar water dealer? What is wrong with this picture?

    Now there is a soap machine, what does it actually do?

    David
    Founder & CEO of PURE Juicer

    Reply

  2. Ahhhhhh I remember this! Knew it was a scam. Also, banana juice? Do notttttt sign me up.

    Reply

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