Juicero has announced a price decrease for its flagship countertop cold-pressed juice machine following what the company said was strong consumer response to its first eight months on the market. The new price of the machine is $399, down from $699. The price change was originally planned to coincide with the launch of the next-generation model in 2018.
Juicero, based in San Francisco, has received plenty of attention since its launch in April, 2016. The company’s 31.5 lb., Wi-Fi-connected machine works by applying 8,000 pounds of mechanical-based pressure on proprietary, vacuum-sealed bags –each filled with raw, organic fruits and vegetables from the company’s partner farms in California — to make 8 oz. servings of fresh, juice.
The company has raised over $120 million to date from investment partners such as Campbell Soup’s Acre Ventures, First Beverage Group, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and GV, formerly Google Ventures. But the machine’s original price tag, along with a $4-$10 cost per juice pack, was criticized in some media outlets for being prohibitively expensive.
“We started Juicero to make it easier and more enjoyable for more people to consume more fruits and vegetables. Because when it comes to nutrition, the one thing everyone can agree on is that we should all eat more plants,” said Doug Evans, founder and chairman at Juicero, in an e-mail to BevNET. “With this new, lower price, our aim is to further expand access to the healthy lifestyle that Juicero offers.”
Speaking with BevNET, Juicero CEO Jeff Dunn said the decision was partly the result of a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion; upon lowering the price to $399, the company doubled its user base in one day.
“We had to turn it off after a couple days because we were so overwhelmed by the response,” said Dunn, who joined the company in October after serving as President of Campbell Fresh, a division of Campbell’s Soup. “That just gave us a sense of the price elasticity of this thing.”
Juicero’s always-connected technology has also allowed the company to monitor customer use and accumulate feedback since the product’s launch, which also played a role in moving ahead the scheduled price drop.
“We just got such a tremendous response from people that once they are in it, they love it,” Dunn said, noting that the company was shipping an average of ten juice press packs per week per customer. “That combination of consumer insights with the modeling allowing us to have a lot of comfort that by lowering the price of the press, we are not only going to get more people into the platform, but from an economic standpoint it has a great return on investment for us because when we get them in, they are drinking about twice as much as we originally modeled.”
As users order more packs, Dunn said, they are also changing their occasions for drinking juice.
“We see that kind of classic morning juice occasion, but people are using Juicero in very different ways than you would think about traditional juice,” he said. “They are drinking it all day long. They are using Juicero to supplement, augment and just be a part of that healthy routine.”
Dunn added that the increase in Juicero’s customer base would not accelerate any plans to open in new markets, though the company may explore further options later on this year. Juicero is currently available in California, Nevada and Arizona.
As for the the final version of the next-generation Juicero model, set to debut in 2018, Dunn said the machine will be at least partially designed based on input from current customers.
“We’ll take all the consumer feedback and feed it into our process, so as we are deciding on different features, we’ll go ask our users what they want,” he explained. “We don’t have to guess.”
Looking ahead, Dunn said the company will be placing Juicero machines in around a dozen Whole Foods Market locations in Southern California in a variety of configurations, including self-serve, as part of the brand’s ongoing efforts to broaden its penetration into both commercial and consumer channels.
“I don’t even think of Juicero as a juicer, strangely enough,” Dunn said. “I think of it as a platform for delivering plant based nutrition.”
He added: “Especially as we continue to bring down the cost and make Juicero more accessible, I’ve said I believe we could be as ubiquitous at scale as Coca Cola. Why not? People love the product, it’s just a matter of building the infrastructure to deliver to them at a price and a consistent delivery that meets their needs.”