Juicero squeezed out!
Hoping to tap into the success of fresh-squeezed juice industry leaders Nespresso and SodaStream, Juicero promised a revolutionary extraction system, paired with a subscription service for the fruit pouches that go with it.
Juicero somehow managed to get solid investors like Google Ventures to pump over $120 million into the project, and the team spent two years developing a highly-sophisticated juice extractor, priced at a mere $700 US!
By also offering pouches filled with pre-cut fruits or veggies, and it’s important to note, fresh─ never frozen, Juicero guaranteed quick and easy fresh-squeezed juice. No more peeling and dicing, no messy blender to clean…how sweet is that!
The Fail :
The problem came when respected journalists at Bloomberg showed in a live demonstration that the juice could be extracted by simply squeezing the pouches with your hand, rendering the extractor useless. The social media went viral with the story, and Juicero’s sales tanked. Even slashing the price and the promise of a second generation of extractors at just $200 US wasn’t enough, the company was doomed.
Juicero never reached a scale that would allow it to lower its production costs, and finding a cheaper solution for a non-existent problem wouldn’t have made any difference in the end.
The Moral :
If you set out to solve a pseudo-problem, you can expect to run into marketing difficulties. It goes without saying that you need to keep a critical eye on your product, even if you have backing from celebrities or major players like Google. In this case, a simple squeeze of the hand could have headed off this catastrophe!
Source image : Juicero