Yesterday, we brought you the sad tale of Juicero, a cutting-edge company poised to create synergy by leveraging the intersection between people who can afford to buy ridiculously overpriced bags of soupy fruit bits and people who thought “It’s like Keurig, but, you know, for juice” constituted a business model. Investors in the company recently discovered that the $400, Wi-Fi enabled, DRM-encased Juicestrocity Juicero machine isn’t actually necessary for squeezing juice out of the $5-$8 single-serving juice packs the company sells. Using your hands, it turns out, works just as well.
Juicero’s CEO, Jeff Dunn, has written his own response to the situation, and it’s downright (unintentionally) hilarious. Dunn begins by claiming that his work with Juicero isn’t just a high-paying job — it’s a passion project, born of his desire to “solve our nation’s nutrition and obesity challenges.” Perhaps fearing that the unwashed masses would fail to understand how a $400 tableweight and glorified Capri Suns would solve the obesity problem in America, he expounds on the issue at some length.
Juicero, you see, is all about families. It’s about fighting obesity with an extremely expensive product marketed to people who likely already have personal trainers and tennis schedules. It’s about telling people that their bagjuice is about to expire so they don’t waste it. That’s important, you see, because Juicero’s bagjuice expires after 5-7 days. From the FAQ:
How long will my Packs stay fresh?
The organic produce living inside each Pack will stay fresh in your refrigerator for 5-7 days. Each Pack has a “Press By” date printed on the back. To ensure freshness and quality, the Press will automatically reject and not press any Packs past their expiration date. Don’t consume the contents of the Pack after this date.
I’m starting to wonder if Jeff Dunn ever worked for an audiophile cable manufacturing company, because he sounds like the sort of person who would feel comfortable explaining how building audio cables out of crystalized unicorn farts and unobtanium shielding is really necessary if you want to prevent unbalanced wave forms from destabilizing the quantum matrix in your speakers.
However, you won’t experience that value by hand-squeezing Produce Packs, which to be clear, contain nothing but fresh, raw, organic chopped produce, not juice. What you will get with hand-squeezed hacks is a mediocre (and maybe very messy) experience that you won’t want to repeat once, let alone every day.
He then follows this proclamation with an amazing video demonstration of what happens when you cut open a juice sack and “squeeze” it.
What’s Inside a Produce Pack? from Juicero on Vimeo.
For those of you who find this particular demonstration familiar, but can’t quite put your finger on where you’ve seen it before, it’s a trick called “Infomercial Hands,” in which ordinary people suddenly forget how to perform tasks in anything resembling human fashion and are forced to imagine themselves as 37-limbed plant people who lack opposable thumbs. No one would squeeze a bag of pre-chewed plant matter (seriously, that’s what it looks like) by cutting it open all the way across the top and literally smashing handfuls of it with their fingers, and Dunn doesn’t seem to realize he’s using a technique designed to sell bargain-basement gadgetry to gullible people. Then again, maybe he does. The below video is from Juicero’s own website.
Dunn concludes his ramshackle defense by offering a refund to any Juicero customer who feels like they got squeezed. For the next 30 days, any and all Juicero customers (I keep wanting to type “Juicebro,” which seems oddly thematically appropriate) can return their hardware for a full refund.