Squeeze me till I pop, yeah, squeeze me till you drop
April 19, 2017 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Silicon Valley’s $400 Juicer May Be Feeling the Squeeze: One of the most lavishly funded gadget startups in Silicon Valley last year was Juicero Inc. It makes a juice machine. The product was an unlikely pick for top technology investors, but they were drawn to the idea of an internet-connected device that transforms single-serving packets of chopped fruits and vegetables into a refreshing and healthy beverage.... But after the product hit the market, some investors were surprised to discover a much cheaper alternative: You can squeeze the Juicero bags with your bare hands.
posted by Cash4Lead (162 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
Like Uber for fruit.
posted by ardgedee at 10:30 AM on April 19 [14 favorites]


I don't often literally LOL these days at a thing in the news, but this did it
posted by Countess Elena at 10:31 AM on April 19 [22 favorites]


Cash4Lead: "You can squeeze the Juicero bags with your bare hands ."

So it's fully digital?
posted by chavenet at 10:33 AM on April 19 [202 favorites]


However, if you choose to save $400 and squeeze with your bare hands (ugh) you won't be able to take advantage of the bar code scanner built in which tracks what products you use and tells you if they are expired, or offers to sell you more.
posted by fixedgear at 10:34 AM on April 19


"A few months later, Juicero dropped the price of the machine to $400 from $700."
posted by NervousVarun at 10:35 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


But what kind of a sad underprivileged peon would want to squeeze their own fruit bags?

Also, if I squeezed the bag myself [shudder], how would I take advantage of the networked interconnectedness? What, would I have to tweet something myself? Post it to my Facebook by hand? What am I, some sort of backward savage?
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:35 AM on April 19 [13 favorites]


Ahahahahaha! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!

Man, my throat is dry from all of that laughing. I’D BETTER HAVE SOME JUICE!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
posted by Going To Maine at 10:36 AM on April 19 [31 favorites]


The ever-entertaining Internet of Shit twitter account has predictably weighed in against DRM juice today.
posted by killdevil at 10:39 AM on April 19 [13 favorites]


I spent all afternoon reading the product name as "Juicebro" and just assumed without question, with barely even an eye-roll, that was what they'd called it. Because Silicon Valley.

Maybe that guy with the letter chart was right about those glasses he said I need.
posted by terretu at 10:39 AM on April 19 [22 favorites]


I really don't understand these people.

If it is already juiced in the bag why are they selling it in bags anyway? Why not just buy juice?
posted by mary8nne at 10:41 AM on April 19 [50 favorites]


Wow... I wonder how much more successful the product of a squeezable juice bag would be. You don't get techbro startup cash with that, though.
posted by codacorolla at 10:41 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Products like this drive me crazy. That people invested in a company that replaces an already solved problem, but cost more, has a locked in propriety capsule, to deliver what is basically a commodity (fruit) so we can create IOT botnet and has recyclable-ish waste component. (In the same model as Keurig).
posted by Agent_X_ at 10:42 AM on April 19 [38 favorites]


i'm so unclear on what is actually in the packaging - is it pure juice, like a capri sun? or is it like partially juiced pulp?
what even does it do? it sounds like they took foodstuffs (fruit and vegetables) that already come with a built in biodegradable wrapper, removed that and did stuff and put it in a single-use plastic wrapper, reducing the shelf life and adding more garbage to the earth, and then invented a machine to remove the new fancy wrapper and tell you if it's still safe to drink. do i have that right?
posted by misskaz at 10:44 AM on April 19 [61 favorites]


CAUTION: DO NOT ALLOW THE TECH BUBBLE TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH PRESS.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:44 AM on April 19 [12 favorites]




Squeeze it myself? What, like an animal?

Also, you can vacuum your house as well as a roomba by crawling around and sucking air through a sippy straw.
posted by zippy at 10:53 AM on April 19 [16 favorites]


I wonder whether they ever had an actual (if unnecessarily high-tech-ified) juicer in mind, but then someone realized that Keurig isn't a $14B company because of how many machines they were selling.
posted by Etrigan at 10:56 AM on April 19 [13 favorites]


Silicon Valley has brought us a great number of improvements, but at the same time, it's a mistake to assume that since an idea came from there that it is necessarily good. For example, connecting everything to the Internet.
posted by Ausoleil at 10:56 AM on April 19


Products like this drive me crazy. That people invested in a company that replaces an already solved problem, but cost more, has a locked in propriety capsule, to deliver what is basically a commodity (fruit) so we can create IOT botnet and has recyclable-ish waste component. (In the same model as Keurig).

Checking out their site, it seems like they're selling it mostly on the (proclaimed) freshness and organic qualities of the fruit in the pack. Although, given the fundamental lie of their "400 pounds of pressure" claim, I doubt even that.

It also seems like they're throwing in a lot of buzzwords that make juice seem more complicated than it is ("Each plant has a specific chop so you get more juice and less food waste with every press."). And there's the obvious techbro value added feature of never having to see or interact with a single person apart from accidentally making eye contact with the UPS driver through your smartblinds. You can get more of the marketing buzz from this page.

Each pack costs about 7 bucks a piece, which is slightly more than I would pay for really good juice that was prepared for me by a juice master at a world renowned juice bar, much less adding in the cost-per glass of a (apparently useless) single purpose piece of technology that costs $400.

I think the real selling point here is IOT buzzwordiness, as well as the perceived new rich techbro value of never having to talk to another person or do any real work for yourself ever again.
posted by codacorolla at 11:00 AM on April 19 [11 favorites]


I seriously don't get why I'd want to buy a bunch of fruits and vegetables that had been cut up into tiny pieces so I could juice them when I could just buy ... juice. I mean, whatever nutritional benefits there are to fresh-pressed juice, rather than juice that's been sitting around for a few days potentially shedding nutrients must be pretty similarly lost when you cut the fruit up into tiny pieces and let it sit around for a few days, no?

Also, it's all very well and good that they're theoretically reducing food waste but jesus christ look at all that packaging.

Also amusing: the juicer won't press anything that's past it's best before date. So, do you think this juice is probably still fine the day after? Too fucking bad, innit? I mean, unless you press it by hand, apparently.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:12 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Engineer friend of mine says he thinks the Juicero machines are sold at cost, and the real money is made from selling the packets. If he's right, then it's just the ol' HP ink cartridge business model.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:12 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Hey, this is when they pivot into big juice-box territory?

I mean, if they could sell a straw for only $200, they'd increase the efficiency of the customer enabling them spare minutes to finally to unlock their potential of yoga-boarding off a pristine sand-dune to raise awareness for people living with a $700 toothpaste squeezer.
posted by Static Vagabond at 11:16 AM on April 19


Not following the tech-innovation world closely I legit assumed this article had been forgotten about three weeks ago and was just a belated april fools joke.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:19 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


The fun part is that they won't sell you the pouches without having verified that you bought the squishing machine. I hope printer companies don't get wind of this idea.
posted by msbutah at 11:22 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Engineer friend of mine says he thinks the Juicero machines are sold at cost, and the real money is made from selling the packets. If he's right, then it's just the ol' HP ink cartridge business model.

So I should get a laser juicer instead?
posted by stevis23 at 11:23 AM on April 19 [17 favorites]


You should get any device that has a laser.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:25 AM on April 19 [25 favorites]


You should get any device that has a laser.

Subsequently.
posted by anem0ne at 11:28 AM on April 19 [12 favorites]


Does it have Bluetooth? Everything is better with Bluetooth.
posted by dnash at 11:30 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I'm targeting the high end of the market with a railgun juicer. Taste the freshness ... at Mach seven!
posted by zippy at 11:31 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Can you name the juicer with the high torque drive,
smells like a mango and feeds thirty-five..
Juicero! Juicero!
Well, bags of fruit can be finger crushed,
It's where venture capital funds get flushed!
Juicero! (Yah!) Juicero!
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:34 AM on April 19 [20 favorites]


this is one of those articles where I feel like this
posted by yueliang at 11:34 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


typical silicon valley venture capital juicebags
posted by Zuph at 11:43 AM on April 19 [25 favorites]


I can't see how anyone can possibly press any juice out of a carrot (finely chopped or not), by hand so I don't buy that argument.

On the other hand, the espresso capsules actually do a good job of storing in the freshness of ground coffee (which goes rancid quite quickly) for long periods of time. If this does not offer good shelf life, then what's the use.

Also, kitchen gadgets. I'm fed up with them, frankly, and the clutter in the kitchen would be incredible if I ever let them all reside on the counter. I actually parted with my simple orange juicer and press all my juice by hand - and the high-tech (and uncleanable) Catler is tucked safely away in a cupboard.

So, from me, no to Juicero and certainly no to regular consumable deliveries.

By the way, I dodged the ink scam and threw that rubbish out. The laser printer is trying to cheat on me by not allowing to print past a "0% toner" state, but that is just a weakly racket and can be overpowered with the right keypresses. I'm still on the same cartridges 2 years later.
posted by Laotic at 11:49 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]




Like Uber for fruit.

Still waiting for "Uber for potatoes and yams."
posted by PandaMomentum at 11:50 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


for $500 I can get a Fruit and Veg share from a Denver CSA delivered to my door for 6 full months.
posted by boo_radley at 11:51 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


The fun part is that they won't sell you the pouches without having verified that you bought the squishing machine. I hope printer companies don't get wind of this idea.

This is a perfectly cromulent point, for all of my haw-hawing above, and I wouldn't be surprised if they throw out the Juicer after a pivot or five and re-brand as a high end, bulk juice pouch company.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:52 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Still waiting for "Uber for potatoes and yams."

Sure it'd be neat, but what would you even call it?
posted by The Gaffer at 11:53 AM on April 19 [63 favorites]


boo_radley: "for $500 I can get a Fruit and Veg share from a Denver CSA delivered to my door for 6 full months."

POSTED TOO SOON :(

Anyway, the cheap ("cheap") option seems to be $32 a week for slurry packs. That works out to $768 over the same period of time. It'd be cheaper, therefore, to go get CSA fruit and hire a human being for one hour@ $11.00/hr to juice for you on a weekly basis.
posted by boo_radley at 11:54 AM on April 19 [24 favorites]


I'm not sure I see the problem. I'm an enthusiastic Keurig drinker, so maybe the monster is me. But I happily pay a 2x markup for the coffee because it's convenient. Specifically Keurig solves the problem for me of making a fresh cup of coffee whenever I want it with no effort. Not a whole pot, not some hipster pourover tedium. Press the button, drink coffee. It sure beats my old system, which was "microwave the leftovers from yesterday".

The problem with Keurig-for-juice is that fruit needs to be fresh. Coffee can sit in a box for months, be shipped cross-country, sit in your cupboard for weeks. It's still OK.
posted by Nelson at 11:58 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


This is like using Uncle Ben's in the $600 rice maker I saw at Marukai Market.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:02 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Hey, remember Keurig Cold
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:03 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]




Not a whole pot, not some hipster pourover tedium

The whole "pourover as phenomenon" thing is hilarious to me. I have distinct memories of my dad, in the 80s and 90s, scooping pre-ground coffee from a tin into a paper filter that sat in a plastic cone, then placing that cone over the mug, and pouring hot water from the kettle into it.

Pourover coffee was an entirely practical thing done by my conservative businessman father. How did it become some sort of hipster affectation?

It's like saying you prefer Keurig tea because pouring hot water onto a teabag is too hipster.
posted by explosion at 12:10 PM on April 19 [46 favorites]


Guys I just invented the Cowcero which is a $700 machine that looks suspiciously like a bottle of milk. Also it has the internet and Bluetooth.

Series B financing in my PMs please.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:12 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I can't see how anyone can possibly press any juice out of a carrot (finely chopped or not), by hand so I don't buy that argument.

I can't see why anyone would want to, but you have a point.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:14 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Hey, someone should distrupt their disruption.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:16 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


One of the most lavishly funded gadget startups in Silicon Valley last year was Juicero Inc. It makes a juice machine.

I parsed this badly, and imagined a juice machine that made other juice machines.

And for a moment, I really wanted that.
posted by rokusan at 12:18 PM on April 19 [24 favorites]


What the actual eff.
posted by vignettist at 12:21 PM on April 19


Pourover coffee was an entirely practical thing done by my conservative businessman father. How did it become some sort of hipster affectation?

How long have you lived in America?

I just LOL'd reading Slate's review:
... As Bloomberg notes, “The device also reads a QR code printed on the back of each produce pack and checks the source against an online database to ensure the contents haven’t expired or been recalled.” Significantly, this means that your juicer requires an internet connection to do its job, which feels like a pretty silly complication for a device designed to make your life simpler. In any case, as it turns out, “[t]he expiration date is also printed on the pack,” rendering this “feature” still more unnecessary.
posted by Melismata at 12:22 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Although, to follow up on a comment from upthread, if I can send a message from my desk (or whereever I'm at) to the unit to dispense a cup of juice so that it is waiting for me by the time I get to the kitchen, well, I guess that'd be something.

Now to merge it with Roomba so that the cup is delivered to me...
posted by vignettist at 12:23 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


[puts juice box on table]

[sets small sledgehammer next to it]

kickstart meh
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:24 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


i'm so unclear on what is actually in the packaging - is it pure juice, like a capri sun?

So can this machine be used to dispense capri sun into a cup? Maybe there's some value there?
posted by vignettist at 12:26 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Just imagine the meetings - "no, no, no, see, it squeezes the juice for you."

"Ooooh, I get it. Yeah, that's a great time saver right there!"
posted by vignettist at 12:28 PM on April 19


vignettist, the bulk of the engineering challenge was getting the little straw to poke through the bag. The dispensing module was comparatively easy.
posted by The Gaffer at 12:31 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Sure it'd be neat, but what would you even call it?

Cormr.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:31 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Google’s venture capital arm and other backers poured squeezed about $120 million into the startup.
posted by gwint at 12:32 PM on April 19


Radio...on the internet.
posted by clockzero at 12:33 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I'm a software engineer so I generally have more patience for Sillicon Valley tomfoolery than the average bear, but even I'm fucking flabbergasted. I own a juicer. I paid thirty dollars for it new. I can buy two dollars worth of apples and a bundle of mint and have delicious fresh juice for days. Before I got the juicer I would go to the bodega on my corner, and pay three dollars for a ten-oz fresh squeezed juice made wth literally any fruit or vegetables I wanted. 16 oz was $4 when I wanted to splurge. This, I just... everything about it is terrible. Jesus.
posted by Itaxpica at 12:38 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Reminds me of Father Guido Sarducci's Mr. Tea machine on SNL back in the day - - "Just add boiling water!"
posted by fairmettle at 12:39 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]




The problem with coffee made with hipster pourover tedium isn't the hipsterism. I just threw that word in there because I live in San Francisco and like mocking people who are almost exactly like me but have no problem waiting in line for 20 minutes at Blue Bottle to get a cup of fucking coffee. The problem with hipster pourover tedium is the tedium. Boiling the water, pouring it slowly, waiting for the drip, washing the funnel. It takes time. The Keurig machine does not take time. Same problems with aeropress, classic french press, etc; nothing beats the convenience of the Keurig.

Back to juice, I see the value of pre-cut and measured fruit in a bag and a machine that's one button press for juice. I don't think "but you can make juice yourself!" is clearly an argument that Juicero is a bad idea. Americans like me pay for convenience. The specific observation "you can squeeze the bag yourself" is absolutely not a problem for Juicero; they would still make a killing selling the fruit bags.

I'm more worried about the $400 price for the machine. I think that sets the barrier to entry awfully high. I'd guess ~$200 would be a better price point. You want a price high enough that it seems like a quality product and filters only for people who are willing to pay $7 per juice serving (!). Perhaps they agree; they've already dropped the machine price, it was $700.

I'm also worried about the $120M investment. That's is a shit ton of capital investment for a single niche consumer product. It's a weird group of investors too. WTF are Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures doing there? Do they envy their Sequoia colleagues who invested in that mediocre grilled cheese company or something?

To end on a cliche, the handle on a razor doesn't do jack shit. It's just a stick with a proprietary connector. No one makes fun of Gilette for selling handles because everyone understands that's not what they're selling. Juicero is not selling machines, they are selling fruit packs.
posted by Nelson at 12:50 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Pourover coffee was an entirely practical thing done by my conservative businessman father. How did it become some sort of hipster affectation?

Your conservative businessman father also had vinyl records, a fedora and drank old fashioneds.*

It's a hipster affectation because it's retro.

* Well, mine did, anyway.
posted by rokusan at 12:56 PM on April 19 [13 favorites]


really good juice that was prepared for me by a juice master at a world renowned juice bar

Is this actually a real thing that is real? I'm afraid to google it myself in case it's true.
posted by rocket88 at 12:57 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Google Ventures doing there? Do they envy their Sequoia colleagues who invested in that mediocre grilled cheese company or something?

Google probably just thought it was worthwhile to get a funders discount on the juice.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:00 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Has anyone cut open one of those juice packs to see what's inside? Is it actually full of chopped fruit and vegetables, or it just liquid, or a combination of both? I find it hard to believe you can liquify anything other than an orange just by squeezing the pack with your hand.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 1:01 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Every since the first trillion, Google's business strategy has been to throw money at pretty much every possible idea to see what works.

A decade later, they're still only sure they make money from web advertising.
posted by rokusan at 1:02 PM on April 19 [9 favorites]


I like pour over (well, Aeropress) coffee because it tastes better, is more economical, and not substantially harder than putting a K-Cup into the machine. I'm not sure how you're making coffee with an Aeropress where it's substantially more difficult. The time from me standing in the kitchen to me having a cup of coffee is usually like 3 minutes, and I do other things like checking email while the electric kettle comes to a boil.
posted by codacorolla at 1:03 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Juicero is not selling machines, they are selling fruit packs.

So is Capri-Sonne, and nobody is mocking them, either. Maybe because they didn't feel the need the disrupt the juicer world by adding a €100 portable gizmo to squeeze the pouch.
If Gillette came up with an internet connected handle that is completely useless, they'd be mocked too. I mean, they already are mocked for their Mach-49™ Aquaslide™ SuperbowlSunday™ gimmicks.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:07 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


To end on a cliche, the handle on a razor doesn't do jack shit. It's just a stick with a proprietary connector. No one makes fun of Gilette for selling handles because everyone understands that's not what they're selling. Juicero is not selling machines, they are selling fruit packs.

CUT TO: The back of the Juicero warehouse where a bunch of guys are offloading 200 gallon drums of Sysco orange juice...
posted by gwint at 1:09 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Readies juice on demand sharing economy app, Saft
posted by zippy at 1:10 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


What about a beef (or other meat!) jerky extruder machine? Insert MEATPAK, machine squeezes, smokes, dries.

Where do I sign up for my VC$?
posted by dmd at 1:10 PM on April 19


The whole "pourover as phenomenon" thing is hilarious to me. I have distinct memories of my dad, in the 80s and 90s, scooping pre-ground coffee from a tin into a paper filter that sat in a plastic cone

My mom used a cone since the 70s. I've used a cone my whole adult life. I am usually either too broke or too cheap to buy coffee out, and my cone makes a perfectly good cup of coffee. But recently a Philz opened in my neighborhood, and even though I buy the same coffee for home, they make a pour over cup of coffee that is almost a whole different animal than the cup I make. If I could afford it, I would go there every morning. And when I say cream with just a little sugar they always manage to get it just right. This not my mother's cone of coffee.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:11 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Juicero juice bags for dudebro douchebags?
posted by sjswitzer at 1:16 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Has anyone cut open one of those juice packs to see what's inside?

This would likely be a violation of the TOS agreement and subject you to fines and possible jail time.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:16 PM on April 19 [24 favorites]


Wait, the packets are literally just juice? Has that been confirmed?
posted by jcreigh at 1:24 PM on April 19


really good juice that was prepared for me by a juice master at a world renowned juice bar

wait hold on this is a thing?
posted by dersins at 1:24 PM on April 19


I was exaggerating for effect, but I would put a small amount of money on it being a thing.
posted by codacorolla at 1:27 PM on April 19


$75 gets you a 6 ton press on amazon. Seems like that and a bunch of ziplocks gets you pretty far along. You could always duct tape one of those amazon dash buttons tied to a wheat grass order on to the side of the frame to pretty much replicate this experience.

Plus, you could probably use it to pack some bearings if you had to.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:32 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


That doesn't seem very disruptive and also does it upload my vital statistics to The Cloud
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:39 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Pourover coffee was an entirely practical thing done by my conservative businessman father.

Clockwise or counterclockwise?

Matters.
posted by sammyo at 1:41 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


That doesn't seem very disruptive and also does it upload my vital statistics to The Cloud

You pay me $400 and I'll tell you that I'm uploading and analyzing your personal details on a second-by-second basis to a highly scientific Google doc. The report is extra.
posted by codacorolla at 1:44 PM on April 19




Actually, the end of the Slate article sums it up nicely: "As Katy Waldman has suggested, juice itself has become a status symbol of sorts. In that sense, maybe those all-but-useless Juicero machines sitting on counters are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do: telling visitors that you drink juice."
posted by Melismata at 1:54 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


exactly what they’re supposed to do: telling visitors that you drink juice

Now I want a talking, mounted sea bass that tells visitors that I drink juice.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:04 PM on April 19 [20 favorites]


I believe people only bought this so they could say their juicer was interfacing with Apple.
posted by Segundus at 2:08 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


sandettie light vessel automatic: "Now I want a talking, mounted sea bass that tells visitors that I drink juice."

Vision that shit up, c'mon:

[Mashes button on Billy Bassmouth]
HERE COMES SOME JUICE!
[Frantic tail flipping, mechanical gurgling noises]
HOOOOOORJ!
posted by boo_radley at 2:32 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


To end on a cliche, the handle on a razor doesn't do jack shit. It's just a stick with a proprietary connector. No one makes fun of Gilette for selling handles because everyone understands that's not what they're selling. Juicero is not selling machines, they are selling fruit packs.

Naw, the reason no one makes fun of Gilette for selling handles is that the handles do have an actual purpose: they hold the razor cartridge at an approximate shaving angle much more efficiently than a person can with their own hands. If there were videos online of people who could shave just as well by just holding the razor cartridge in their hands, everyone would make fun of Gillette.

Plus, when you buy a handle from Gillette, it's not like the price of the handle is 50 times more than the price of a single razor cartridge. If Gillette priced their handles that way, everyone would make fun of Gillette.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:38 PM on April 19 [17 favorites]


cackling at my desk, here
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:39 PM on April 19


I can get my bag squeezed for $20. Same as in town.
posted by klanawa at 2:47 PM on April 19 [14 favorites]


The wider story is Smart People(tm) are once again focusing their energy on solving rich people problems, that aren't actual problems.
posted by kersplunk at 3:01 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


The turd-in-a-can ideal of consumer capitalism has been perfected.
posted by acb at 3:28 PM on April 19


Also amusing: the juicer won't press anything that's past it's best before date.

An AskMeFi account is only five bucks.
posted by JackFlash at 3:29 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Has anyone cut open one of those juice packs to see what's inside?

There were press images of a cut open bag, but now I am wondering just how much those reflected reality, like, at all, since I can't imagine squeezing that and getting much out of it.
posted by quaking fajita at 3:39 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Yeah those images don't seem to match up with the Bloomberg video, which shows the pouches as pretty much containing liquid. I saw marketing pieces that described half-inch cubes of fruit in the bags as well, which is what you'd expect if the thing was actually juicing:
So everything gets washed, and then we have a specific size reduction technique that we use. So for example, pineapple gets chopped to half inch chunks. But spinach goes into 1/16th of an inch chunks.
It doesn't seem like the liquid to solid ratio in the pouches should really be a mystery, no?
posted by zachlipton at 3:48 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I actually think their packaging is a step forward. I mean, consider how overpackaged conventional orange juice is.

First, you have the orange juice portioned out into these tiny ampules of what, 0.25cc, tops? WAY less than a serving, for sure. Then, all those useless juice-ampules are bundled together in little wedge-shaped bags. I guess the sack is edible, which is something, but who really wants to eat packaging? I've tried the membrane they make the bags from, and I can tell you it's about as tasty as those corn-based dissolving packing peanuts they came out with to replace styrofoam a few years ago. And then, because those bags are STILL way less than a serving, they bundle a dozen of those into yet ANOTHER package, which they then have to make ridiculously thick because hello, who puts juice into thin, chewable bags? Of course they have to armor it! So to get to the juice you have to rip through that outer layer -- which doesn't have a pull tab or anything -- and all that packaging ends up right in the landfill after you get the juice out. Not to mention, the inner bags are totally porous and don't do a damn thing for keeping the juice fresh, so once you open the box (or whatever you call it, it's not even square) you're basically committed to using all the bags in it anyway; what's the point of having individually wrapped portions if you can't save them?

But anyway, you guys, I discovered something: you don't need to open each orange-juice bag and unwrap each orange-juice aliquot! It turns out can just squeeze the whole overpackaged mess with your bare hands.
posted by Westringia F. at 3:52 PM on April 19 [37 favorites]


Like Uber for fruit.

like a real life fruitfucker 2000?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:00 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


But what kind of a sad underprivileged peon would want to squeeze their own fruit bags?

Squeeze it myself? What, like an animal?


Haha. No, of course not. That would be ridiculous.

This is where MY startup comes in: sqyzr

It's like Uber for Juicero: whenever you want freshly squeezed Juicero juice simply use sqyzr and within less than 30 minutes one of our trained juice bag squeezers will arrive up at your home and squeeze your Juicero bag for you.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:02 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Guys I just invented the Cowcero which is a $700 machine that looks suspiciously like a bottle of milk. Also it has the internet and Bluetooth.


Try the hottest new craze — beef milk. It’s like almond milk that’s been squeezed through tiny holes in living cows.
posted by gyc at 4:20 PM on April 19 [22 favorites]


Oh, wow, beef-milk! That's such a great idea, taking an industrial process and making it all-natural like that. Can we team up? Because I have developed a new, all-natural process for turning corn & soybeans into meat. You need special birds to process it, and the whole thing takes a while (I really need to engineer better efficiency), but what comes out tastes just like chicken. It's totally vegetarian, literally only corn & soy go into it, and I'm telling you, people cannot tell the difference.
posted by Westringia F. at 4:31 PM on April 19 [12 favorites]


specific size reduction technique

This is like what an anime character announces before he chops his vegetables.
posted by lucidium at 5:41 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Ok everyone. One of my best friends works at juicero, which is both totally crazy and completely logical, because she has led the most adventurous and random life possible. We constantly joke about her life at a juice-making tech start-up, because she is the LEAST tech-bro person on the PLANET. She works with the actual machines, not in an "upstairs" department, so she has the absolute inside look into the product.
1) I have had a ton of juicero juice. It is the best juice I've ever had. I mean, I like juice! Who doesn't? But this juice is like a magic sunbeam cradled the earth's bounty in just the right symphony of flavor to invigorate you with the perfect levels of sweet and spice. It is like a fairy listened to all your deepest dreams while you were sleeping and delivered them to you in the morning in a single glass of juice.
2) you can not squeeze the pack by hand to get *everything* out of it. The packs are squishy, yes, and they have some pulpy stuff in them that I imagine you could squeeze easily. But they also have carrots and beets and spinach or kale or ginger and I find it impossible that you can squeeze that by hand. The press works by moving a plate against the pack with some ungodly amount of pressure per square inch. My friend would be saddened to know I have forgotten this number, as it is impressive. And yes, the folks at the LA warehouse chop fruits and veggies by hand into company mandated sizes for best press. The last time I saw her, we cut open a pack post-squeezing. I thought I'd be able to snack on the insides, but I was wrong, because the carrots and ginger and formerly tasty things inside tasted like cardboard. The leftovers were BONE dry. It liquified everything, leaving foreign husks of fruit and vegetables behind.
3) the packs are recyclable, so you can cut em open post-pressing, compost the veggies, and toss the rest into the recycling. No trash. They are, however, shipped with ice packs, so that's extra bulk that's not earth friendly. My friend's roommate swears they are the best ice packs, though.
I think it is weird to have a single-use machine that only works with proprietary product. When juicero ceases to exist, presses will become a very expensive paperweight. The company is weird; it's tech-bro juice for super rich people. I get it. She gets it, too. But I also love how much juice she brings me.
posted by missmary6 at 5:53 PM on April 19 [30 favorites]


consider how overpackaged conventional orange juice is

On the other hand, the entire package, including the sticker, is edible if you're daring enough.
posted by Pyry at 6:12 PM on April 19




This not my mother's cone of coffee

BRB, just had an idea for a DnD campaign
posted by dbx at 6:25 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


aside from the fact that juice is really, really bad for you (liquid sugar, anyone?)

this is horrific for the waste packaging. Serious, do people never think about where all this waste is going? We don't have a blackhole for our landfill.

We need to ban single-cup systems with disposable packages. Just ban them outright.

Or maybe say, sure, you can use your juicero or your Keurig, but you have to keep the pods/bags in you own home. You're not allowed to put them into public waste disposal. If you want to share your space with an ever growing pile of plastic garbage, feel free. But stop subjecting the rest of the planet to it!

(yes, I do use a French press, and a travel mug for coffee purchased elsewhere, and I try to buy my coffee beans in the least packaging possible. I'm walking the walk - but even as hard as I try, I can't make up for the millions who are putting convenience ahead of our planet.)
posted by jb at 6:26 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Still waiting for "Uber for potatoes and yams."

you mean... uber for tubers?
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 6:46 PM on April 19 [15 favorites]


You know people you can buy reusable cups for keurigs that use regular coffee grounds. They go in the dishwasher and everything.
posted by bq at 6:47 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Try the hottest new craze — beef milk. It’s like almond milk that’s been squeezed through tiny holes in living cows.

I must admit that I first assumed that Beef Milk was blood.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:18 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


What about a beef (or other meat!) jerky extruder machine? Insert MEATPAK, machine squeezes

This is like "misunderstood instructions; dick stuck in jerky machine" by way of Cronenberg.
posted by rokusan at 7:27 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I think it is weird to have a single-use machine that only works with proprietary product. When juicero ceases to exist, presses will become a very expensive paperweight. The company is weird; it's tech-bro juice for super rich people. I get it. She gets it, too. But I also love how much juice she brings me.

ha. satire. i get it.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 9:50 PM on April 19


Juice
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:35 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


So it's just juice in the bag?
posted by ethansr at 11:46 PM on April 19


I think technically its not "just juice" in the bag, but chopped up fruit. However, if you can hand-squeeze 90% of the juice out, then it seems like it must be chopped up pretty fine already. like REALLY fine.

Which r does suggest that they are basically putting "juice" (with a bit of pulp) in a bag, and selling it for more than an actually freshly produce juice would cost at a Cafe or health-food joint.

Its just astounding really that someone thought this would be a good idea.
posted by mary8nne at 1:05 AM on April 20


Great job, Silicon Valley! Finally, a food product company more mockable than Soylent.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:58 AM on April 20


I bought a scratter and a press for much less than $400 and made about four gallons of juice (well more like two gallons of juice and two gallons of hard cider) from my own organic apples and other fruits grown on the allotment. OK maybe I didn't get the yeild I would have if I had pulped the apples a bit finer and used a press with a higher pressure than the screw drive I was using, but I also threw away multiple kilograms of apples that I just wasn't bothered to juice so I got enough juice out of it. Now that it is warmer the cider is ready to drink and is quite nice. I wonder if it would be possible to hack these "pods" into a reusable version that you are able to fill up with pulped veggies in a similar vein to the reusable keurig pods. Or you could just choose from the many different available juicing machines you can get for way less than $400. When you are pressing fruit pulp to get the juice it isn't for the extraction efficiency you can get it is for the sheer mass of apple pomace you can put through the process in one go.
posted by koolkat at 3:23 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Great job, Silicon Valley! Finally, a food product company more mockable than Soylent.

Don't give them ideas or you'll live to see Soycero powerbars made of soylent and juicero pulp that need to be electrically activated by a $1500 machine implanted in your stomach, which makes sure you only eat original Soycero product delivered to you in quantity and at intervals deemed adequate for your body by the company. It will induce vomiting if an incompatible or expired product is ingested and will cease functioning every 12 months to guarantee the highest quality of service. The feeding plans will cost from $1000/month upwards, which is still way less than if you were eating at michelin restaurants every day.

For an additional $500 you can buy an autofeed helmet which will activate the opening of your oral cavity and insert the bars when needed.

So, where do I apply for funding?
posted by Laotic at 5:21 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


But they also have carrots and beets and spinach or kale or ginger and I find it impossible that you can squeeze that by hand. The press works by moving a plate against the pack with some ungodly amount of pressure per square inch.

This is plausible, yes, particularly given that the people who tried it by hand were only able to extract 7.5oz of juice compared to 8oz from the machine.

However, it seems telling that the company themselves didn't say:

"Ah yes, but you are missing out on the important nutrients/flavours contained in the tougher/less juicy contents, which cannot be extracted by hand".

Which would have been a somewhat sensible explanation given that I think we can all form a good mental image of how much juice you would likely get if you just gripped a carrot in your sweaty paw and squeezed as hard as you could.

But they didn't say that, did they? Instead they pretty much said:

"Sure you could just squeeze the pack by hand, but who's got time for that?”

I remain suspicious as to what's actually in those packs.
posted by Dext at 5:41 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


I wish some clever New Media Journalist would just cut a damn bag open and take photos, to solve the mystery of what is in the bags.

If you look at the individual pages for each of the $7+ juice packs there's marketing shots of a bunch of chopped up veggies posed next to the bag. I don't think anyone is hand-squeezing these carrots and celery packs for instance. But these are marketing shots, maybe what's inside is further processed than the photo shows?

The originally linked video shows a woman with ordinary hands extracting the juice. She squeezes normally at first but then she's at it for two minutes, wringing it hard like a towel. The juice depicted is glojito. I can imagine that chopped cucumber, lemon, and pear are mostly liquid in the pack. Maybe some celery and leafy green juice too. But the fennel? Most of the celery juice? That's gotta take some mechanical processing right?

While I'm here, that pack page also has a section called "Juicero Rx" that "meet your health and wellness needs". This marketing is the kind of bullshit you run extra-careful by your legal department so that you don't draw the FDA's ire. Because you are selling fake medicine. I mean, they're literally calling these bundles of juices a "prescription". Fuck them.
posted by Nelson at 7:19 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


I wish some clever New Media Journalist would just cut a damn bag open and take photos, to solve the mystery of what is in the bags.

Wouldn't that be super illegal under all manner of intellectual-property laws, much like disassembling the code in VW engine controllers to prove that they were programmed to cheat emissions tests?
posted by acb at 8:08 AM on April 20


> I can imagine that chopped cucumber, lemon, and pear are mostly liquid in the pack. Maybe some celery and leafy green juice too. But the fennel? Most of the celery juice? That's gotta take some mechanical processing right?

A couple vigorous passes with a rolling pin before opening the bag ought to take care of that.
posted by ardgedee at 11:48 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


I'm willing to accept that there are at least some chunks of fruit and veggies in there that you aren't getting if you just squeeze the bag with your hand, but what's the difference between using the expensive machine to press the pouches right before you drink and the resulting product if they did the pressing part at the factory and just sent you a bottle of juice instead like a normal person? (Bottles being recyclable in your normal municipal recycling program instead of pouches you have to cut open, depulp, and mail to a special facility.)
posted by zachlipton at 12:21 PM on April 20


Wouldn't that be super illegal under all manner of intellectual-property laws, much like disassembling the code in VW engine controllers to prove that they were programmed to cheat emissions tests?

Can't tell if serious or.....
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:37 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I wish some clever New Media Journalist would just cut a damn bag open and take photos, to solve the mystery of what is in the bags.

I'm in LA and the nearby Whole Foods to my office has a Juicero station. I was half-joking on #mefi IRC about doing this and paying for my vacation with the schadenfreude views on YouTube.

I'll have something up later this evening.
posted by wcfields at 1:53 PM on April 20 [5 favorites]


Juicero's new CEO put out a mediocre statement, including, yes, a video of someone cutting open a pack to demonstrate that there's semi-solid mush inside (at least inside that one, who knows if all the flavors are similar or if some are more liquidy). It also features this idiotic sentence: "The value of Juicero is more than a glass of cold-pressed juice. Much more."

They're also offering full refunds for the next 30 days to any customer who wants to send their machine back.
posted by zachlipton at 2:00 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Mmm, carrot sludge. That video is Beta Glow, which is mostly carrots with some orange, lemon, and ginger. The photo of the shredded veg in the marketing image looks like it's been dried off first, the video shows the moistness you'd expect, but not straight-up carrot juice. I continue to not be surprised that someone would sell a machine to further process that to juice.

But the real product is the juice packs. $5 for half a pound of carrots, in this case. I'm particularly gobsmacked by that CEO statement bragging about "the first closed loop food safety system that allows us to remotely disable Produce Packs" as if that didn't sound creepy at all.
posted by Nelson at 2:40 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Lest we lose track of it in all the fun of mocking the silly company and their crazy machine, remember that cold press juice is bullshit and even if it's green, juice is not really that much different nutritionally than Dr. Pepper.
posted by 3j0hn at 2:42 PM on April 20 [5 favorites]


I have distinct memories of my dad, in the 80s and 90s, scooping pre-ground coffee from a tin into a paper filter that sat in a plastic cone, then placing that cone over the mug, and pouring hot water from the kettle into it.

Pourover coffee (specifically Chock Full o'Nuts, made in a Melitta) is something I associate with my parents, for whom spaghetti was "ethnic food", so I find it amusing that it suddenly has hipster cred. Oh you sweet summer children. Thankfully, Melitta doesn't seem to have noticed.

Also I met a bunch of Keurig employees once at a conference, and they seemed more apologetic and conflicted about their work than actual weapons engineers. Like, some guy whose job consisted of making the next generation of hand grenades extra lethal thought that maybe K-Cups were just one step too far.

Though they did tell me that, if you do feel the need to own a Keurig machine, do not buy the consumer ones as they have a very short design life which is not much more than the warranty. Get the "commercial" ones; they are designed better because the assumption is they will result in the sale of many more pods, therefore they can use better materials. It's not even about the cost of the machine per se, but the expected pod consumption.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:58 PM on April 20 [6 favorites]


What the Juicero guy failed to do is describe exactly what the difference is, in taste or nutritional content or whatever criteria, between his bag of carrot sludge pressed in his fancy expensive machine, his bag of carrot sludge pressed with a household rolling pin, and his bag of carrot sludge if it was processed through an industrial-sized juicer, bottled, and sold like every other thing of fresh juice.
posted by zachlipton at 2:58 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


even if it's green, juice is not really that much different nutritionally than Dr. Pepper.

Fruit juice! Vegetable juice doesn't have nearly that level of pure sugary goodness. Which is also why it tastes like shit and nobody drinks it.
posted by Justinian at 4:24 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


For the sake of argument, even if I were willing to give this concept a shot but the $400 entry fee is crazy. There should be a much cheaper manual, hand cranked version of this.
posted by VTX at 6:26 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


So I went to Whole Foods and got a packet. When I was squeezing it it exploded juice everywhere.

Cut it open and it's more or less like they juiced some stuff, then mixed the pulp with the juice and put it back into a Capri-sun packet.
posted by wcfields at 8:53 PM on April 20 [5 favorites]


They were selling packs that expire literally today? And I believe their QR code system means the big expensive machine will refuse to function after the expiration date.
posted by zachlipton at 9:10 PM on April 20


Yeah, expires today.

Here's the decode of the QR:
SRA217110000469T4IJ4WUWYPHVGBS7JRELEOPO6IVT7XL6SBMNPGQXK6QZ6PRTOWXLQOKV2VDVO7RC63N42Z42TQI5XEVNKBX5RARUI2MIUMVRQGIJ66Y:
posted by wcfields at 9:35 PM on April 20




Simpsons - The Juice Loosener
posted by DanCall at 4:26 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Oh man. I read that post, and my half-way, my reaction to the CEO's bullshit was this. Then I read this bit:
The value of Juicero is more than a glass of cold-pressed juice. Much more.
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.

And it turned into this.

Next thing what, it's the patriotic way? Every time you squeeze their plastic bag a bald eagle dies? If that's the value, why not trying to develop a juicer that is easier to maintain, with a system that uses reusable bags and recipes so people could chop up their veggies and fruit in advance and keep them safely refrigerated until use a few days later?

Fuck. Off. The last thing the planet needs is more plastic shit that creates even more plastic waste.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:49 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


The thing to remember is that, even as we laugh at the stupid fucking useless $400 DRM-locked bag squeezing machine, somewhere, there's a chorus of tech bros, flush on VC funding, imploring us to hold their beer.
posted by acb at 5:12 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


The thing to remember is that, even as we laugh at the stupid fucking useless $400 DRM-locked bag squeezing machine, somewhere, there's a chorus of tech bros, flush on VC funding, imploring us to hold their beer.

This is great news for Cinco and their Food Tube!
posted by anem0ne at 10:28 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]




The juice isn't worth the squeeze.
posted by peppertree at 6:41 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Here’s Why Juicero’s Press is So Expensive, a teardown. A meticulous one with some really insightful comments on the product development process at startups.
It’s clear that cost savings was not anywhere near a top priority for Juicero when designing this product (or if it was, something went horribly wrong). There are dozens of components and subsystems that are incredibly complex and beautifully engineered, but hopelessly expensive to manufacture and assemble (and thus sell to consumers).
posted by Nelson at 6:55 PM on April 24 [13 favorites]


I though the teardown article was really interesting and its conclusion is kind of like a realization I had about Kickstarter a couple years ago. Throwing a incredible amount of money at people whose only experience is managing projects with a hundredth of the budget you've just given them usually ends up with something that's massively overbuilt to the point that it loses sight of its original goals and is still somehow over budget while underperforming.
posted by Copronymus at 11:02 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Their engineers were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think whether they should.
posted by edheil at 11:17 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


That teardown is unbelievable. Machined aluminium is for aircraft or display — certainly not for hiding inside something on your counter-top. Spur gears quickly become noisy in the drivetrain. Creative use of ball bearings? Reviewer's clearly never seen every 3D printer ever, as that's standard. And that 330 V DC system near liquids? nope nope nope. It's looking like a high-end prototype, not final production. The sort of thing you get when you have too few engineers on a project.
The machine must apply equal pressure to ~64 square inches of surface area at once
Pneumatics do that really, really well.
posted by scruss at 11:23 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


That teardown is unbelievable.

The teardown is by Ben Einstein, one of the founders of Bolt VC, so if you find it ridiculous you might also consider the critique itself a meta-critique of VC culture.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:10 PM on April 25


It never occurred to me that the pressing mechanism would be a screw drive pushing an aluminum plate against the entire surface of the juice bag. I don't know that much about mechanical design but that seems kinda wild to me. I was thinking it was something more like a roller system.

Also, those are real pretty gears. Probably super-expensive, though.
posted by mhum at 2:36 PM on April 25


I'm no engineer, so I may be misusing this term, but wouldn't a double roller provide the equivalent amount of pressure with much more efficiency or mechanical advantage? Why would that not come up in the design stage?
posted by Think_Long at 2:48 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Too much money leading to over-engineering?
posted by lmfsilva at 3:20 PM on April 25


I would imagine that the “consistency” of the bag’s contents evolved over time, getting more and more pre-processed. Perhaps at the outset the assumption was that you'd be using whole chunks of fruit, and that a double-roller would cause messy bursting?
posted by Going To Maine at 3:30 PM on April 25




Of course she does.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:43 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Ivanka Trump loves Juicero.

Of course she does.

Thirteen months ago, a lot of people liked Juicero.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:21 PM on April 26


Oprah had given out Juicerovi as audience schwag, which is kinda silly considering that those machines are literally unusable without the subscription service.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:15 AM on April 27


I assume the obscenely expensive juicer is, from a marketing point of view, a feature not a bug. It's the sunk-cost fallacy monetized: you eventually get tired of paying $5-8 per glass of juice, but you've already spent $400 on a juicer, and it's still paying for itself, so you'd better keep drinking that Juicero juice!

I am starting to think coffee might be the only thing for which this model is viable. I'll admit I don't get the appeal of the home Keurig over a #2 Melitta cone, but clearly it exists. But in offices which would rather do something a little less conspicuously stale than having a diner-style carafe of murky coffee around, I get why K-Cups (and other coffee-pod systems) have some appeal: they're more expensive than bulk but significantly less expensive than, say, retail fresh-brewed coffee, and they add a touch of individual personalization for your employees/customers/clients without them thinking they have to make their own coffee.

Compare that to the infamous Keurig Kold and the Juicero. Neither of these two products hits a price point or level of convenience to equal their obvious competition. Individual Kold packs were more expensive, smaller in serving size, more trouble to consume, and not actually all that much smaller to store than cans of soda in a fridge. Juicero packs... well, at that price point, you'd probably be better off getting a corporate account at Jamba and letting whoever you're showing hospitality to charge to it.

Therein kind of lies the rub. If you're over bulk make-it-yourself cost but undercutting the retail finished product, sure, you can sell that, because the overlap of "don't want to make it themselves" and "would like to save money" is a pretty respectable group. But if you aren't below the retail price for whatever your machine produces, your appeal is pretty limited.
posted by jackbishop at 5:31 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


> I would imagine that the “consistency” of the bag’s contents evolved over time, getting more and more pre-processed. Perhaps at the outset the assumption was that you'd be using whole chunks of fruit, and that a double-roller would cause messy bursting?

Not an engineer either but I am picturing a roller method being unreliable for various reasons, such as uneven pressure (leading variously to inconsistent extraction and burst bags), slipping traction, and noise. Contents will be squirted from the unmashed side into the mashed side without getting extracted. A curved plate could give you a roller effect with a significantly larger radius, potentially reducing the slippage and improving extraction control, but it would probably also mean a larger device and more complex extraction mechanism.

The advantage a flat press and platen provide is a hell of a lot of control; I'm guessing that the bag is not intended to be mashed completely flat, and you can manage the pressure and timing with the best precision and I wouldn't be surprised if they experimented with rollers before settling on what they did, meaning (to my mind) they mostly weighed the cost/benefit of these methods differently than I would have.
posted by ardgedee at 7:54 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I would imagine
...
Not an engineer
...
would probably
...
I am picturing
...
I'm guessing
...
I wouldn't be surprised
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:36 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Well yeah, it's not reddit where somebody would have padded his credentials and left out the caveats to sound like he knew what he was saying. I'm happy to guess and I'm not going to lie that I'm guessing. If you know things I don't know I'm happy to learn.
posted by ardgedee at 9:45 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Compare the Juicero to this Samson Welles hydraulic juicer, designed for home use. The description of the results is pretty similar: you end up with a lot of juice and a mass of dried plant product. But, you're starting with a mush of masticated fruit. No wonder people can squeeze the Juicero juice bags by hand; they're basically just straining out the solids from the juice. It's an impressively-designed machine, but most of that design is there to force you to use freshly-purchased bags. Without the specially-designed press and DRM, people could just do what they do with the juice press I linked above: process their own fruit, put it in a cloth bag, and squeeze the bag.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:55 PM on April 30


You can get a Vitamix for under $400 and it will let you drink the whole damn fruit or veg, not just the sugar juice.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:02 AM on May 1


Also, taking cold porridge to work instead of bread lets you eat the whole grain, not just the devil's dandruff.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:49 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Porridge is for wimps; gruel's where it's at.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:21 AM on May 1


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