Juicero is a startup with a simple goal: it wants to to make the freshest juice you’ve ever tasted.
And after roughly three years in stealth mode — and raising a war chest of capital that’s pushing $100 million — the startup finally launched on Thursday morning.
Juicero can most simply be described as a “Keurig for juice.” The product is a smart, Wi-Fi connected kitchen appliance that presses pouches the size of IV bags into tasty concoctions of fresh fruits, water, and veggies. There’s also no preparation, mess, or cleanup. You simply slip in the pouch, press a button, and out pours your juice.
The appliance can tell the user the nutritional value of what they’re drinking. It can also order another pouch for the user once one has been pressed and used. And because Juicero’s pouches are going from a farm straight to your house, with no grocery store in between, it’s apparently fresher than most other juices you’ve tried.
The Juicero appliance will be pricey, about $699, a Juicero investor tells Business Insider, although final costs are still being determined. But the product, this person says, is “magical.”
It’s so magical, in fact, that celebrities like Dr. Oz and Gwyneth Paltrow have tried the juice and are said to have been blown away. Apple design genius Jony Ive and Yves Béhar had a hand in Juicero’s design, as did Nest founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Juicero is the brainchild of Doug Evans, a vegan who was formerly CEO and chairman of health-food chain Organic Avenue.
Juicero’s major investors include Campbell Soup, Google, Artis Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins, with additional funding from Double Bottom Line Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Vast Ventures among others.
Campbell apparently agreed to invest after tasting a V8-like juice that Juicero’s team whipped up. Shortly after, Campbells committed to a large investment in the startup.
The problem — other than the high price point — is that juicers produce a lot of sugar. And at the moment, the world is not too hot on sugar.
In November, the Food and Drug Administration stated that Americans shouldn’t eat or drink more than 50 grams of sugar, which has brought a lot of negative attention to companies like Coke and Pepsi. Some have even likened sugar to tobacco.
Stuart Peterson, a partner at Artis Ventures and a self-proclaimed sugar addict, notes that Juicero doesn’t take out all the healthy fibre like normal juicers do, and he says he craves less and less sugar since he started using Juicero.
Plus, it just tastes great, he says.
“This product, when you drink it, it’s alive,” Peterson tells Business Insider. “When you have Keurig coffee, I guess it’s a good cup but it doesn’t blow your mind. This blows your mind because [the fruits and vegetables are] in a natural state. It’s just a beautiful thing.”