Juicero, Inc., the maker of the world’s first at-home cold-press juicer, has conceded its product is too expensive and will be lowering costs, as well as cutting jobs. This comes after the Silicon Valley startup already cut the price of its juicer by $300.00.
The company is looking to price its second-generation juicer at around $200.00, around $500.00 less than what the company’s first-generation juicer originally sold for. The company cut the machine’s price to $400.00 back in January, but even that seems to be far too high a price point for consumers.
The drop in price came after company founder, Doug Evans, stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Jeff Dunn, a former executive at Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) and The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO). Initially, Juicero suggested it would focus on getting its product into hotels, offices, grocery stores, and other locations where consumers wouldn’t need to buy the product outright.
This hasn’t been going as planned. In an e-mail sent to employees, Dunn noted that “the current prices of $399 for the Press and $5 – $7 for produce Packs are not a realistic way for us to fulfill our mission at the scale to which we aspire.”
Dunn also said that 25% of the company’s workforce would lose their jobs as the company shifts its focus to product development. Most of the job losses will come from the marketing side.
Product development means lowering the cost of its $399.00 machines and juice packets filled with raw fruits and vegetables.
For those who cannot find an extra $400.00 to squeeze out of their budget, the Juicero delivers fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable concoctions at the press of a button. Because it’s also Wi-Fi-enabled, you can use it to find out the nutritional value of your drink.
The Juicero has received endorsements from actress Gwyneth Paltrow and health guru Dr. Oz. It has also been called “the ultimate Silicon Valley indulgence.”
And that may be part of the problem. Most people can’t afford to pay $700.00 for a connected device that gives them fresh juice on demand.
Consumers were also more than a little disappointed to discover that the packets could just as easily be squeezed by hand. So too were investors. Campbell, Google Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC helped Juicero raise $100.00 million in 2015.
However, this doesn’t seem like a huge revelation. The machine itself simply presses the fruit and veggie packs. It’s not rocket science. The joy of Juicero, according to the company, is not that it squeezes the packets into juice, it’s in the machine’s smart features and consistent pressing technique.
Time will tell whether or not this strategic realigning will work or whether consumers feel like they’re being squeezed.
“Startup Selling $400 Juicers Plans to Lower Prices and Cut 25% of Staff,” Fortune, July 14, 2017.
“The Juicero Story,” Juicero, Inc., last accessed July 17, 2017.
“Our Founder’s Perspective: The Journey to Juicero,” Juicero, Inc., last accessed July 17, 2017.