No Glass

I am so baffled by Juicero™ I don’t entirely know how to articulate it. I guess I could start by explaining what Juicero™ is:

Juicero™ is a $700 $400 machine that squeezes expensive, proprietary bags of juice-mash (purchased via an expensive and, frankly, wasteful subscription) into a juice glass that I don’t think Juicero™ provides.

Juicero™ is very powerful — able to exert 4 tons of squeezing force to a bag of juice. Juicero™ has a lot of pent up hostility. The juice bag doesn’t need this kind of force applied. Apparently a light squeeze from human will do the trick, but don’t tell that to  Juicero™. Juicero™ doesn’t need your negativity.

Juicero’s™ biggest selling point is that the Juicero™ will not squeeze the bag if the bag of juice is bad or old (like me.) How does Juicero™ know? The company, will send a message to  Juicero™, remotely disabling the unit so it doesn’t squeeze the bag. I feel badly  for  Juicero™. That must be emasculating. Juicero™ must so badly want to squeeze the bag.

Juicero™ CEO Jeff Dunn doesn’t comment on Juicero’s™ desires, but he claims  the reason you dullards shouldn’t go around squeezing juice bags by yourself is that only  Juicero™ is qualified to receive this information and parse it to decide what bag of juice may be squeezed for your consumption. Juicero™ is a little controlling.

If this is all confusing, let me try to explain it a different way. Imagine buying a $400 robot to neatly squish Capri Sun Juices pouch into a glass for you, and then keeping that robot on a retainer to squish more Capri Sun Juice for you. You could ask the robot nicely to squish a Minute Maid™ Cooler, or a Palmy™ for you, but he would have to decline. The robot will only squeeze Capri Sun and only if the Capri Sun is less than 8 days old and doesn’t have any outstanding warrants.

Juicero™ is basically that robot, the bastard child, I presume, of a star crossed Romeo-bot and  manic-pixie Juliet-bot,  tied to $120 million dollars in venture capital and a CEO who may or may not be a little light-headed from living in the heady fog of a perpetual juice cleanse.

Juicero™ has friends. Vogue™, InStyle™, and the venerated Goop™ magazine all have published chirpy delighted pieces singing the praises of a machine that delivers juice without the mess. (Hint: the mess still happens, just not in your home, which is probably the point.) Vogue, in particular, has gone the distance making the editorial decision to eschew any pictures of the product or its juice, instead posting a picture of pantless model with a plastic cup of juice that certainly was not provided by Juicero™. The picture is from 2010, which, by Juicero™ standards, is far too old to squeeze. (Think of that as a Juicero™ thumbs down.)

How is any of this better than a bottle of juice, like many of us dolts have been doing for all these years? I haven’t the foggiest idea. I suppose, in theory, it could taste better, but without compelling evidence I’m not inclined to believe. It really feels like nonsense — nonsense people have sunk a lot of money into.

What qualifies me to comment on a juicer I’ve never met used? I like juice. I’ve been drinking juice since I was a baby. I’ve had fresh juice and stale juice, and a Mexican fruit water near a pyramid that was better than any juice I’ve ever had. Could Juicero’s™ juice be better than fresh Mexican Pyramid juice? No. It can’t be. But perhaps my better qualification is as a writer who has spent a lot of time thinking about where we humans end up when we use proprietary technologies that can lock us out of being nourished. These kinds of stories don’t go anywhere good.

Perhaps Juicero™ is not about the juice  Maybe Juicero™ is about process, not product — about squeezing, not what is squeezed forth. Maybe we shouldn’t focus on the destination, but the journey instead — the crushingly absurd overpriced journey.

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