Juicero: Juicing boss defends $400 machine

A US start-up that sells a wi-fi connected juicing machine for $399 (£310), has offered refunds after the gadget was mocked on social media.

Juicero makes the bulk of its sales by supplying pouches of pre-cut fruit and vegetables which fit the contraption.

But the product was ridiculed by some after it emerged how the sachets could be squeezed just as easily by hand.

Chief executive Jeff Dunn said the criticism overlooked the “experience” of the machine.

He claimed the “hacking” of the pouches did not produce the same quality of juice. saying the machine was calibrated to deal with different ingredients differently.

But Juicero has now given customers the chance to return the machine and get their money back, including those who bought it at its launch price of $699.

The San Francisco firm raised around $120m in funding ahead of its launch last March.

It said it was hoping to tackle nutrition and obesity problems, with investors also inspired by the success of businesses like Nespresso which blend a one-time sale of hardware with repeat sales of consumables.

In his blog post Mr Dunn, a former Coca-Cola executive, said that the machine – or ‘press’ – along with packs of fresh organic produce and a smartphone app combined to “enable a great experience”.

The app lets users buy packets of ingredients which cost between $5 and $8 (only people who’ve bought the machine can order them) – and sends alerts when the produce is going out of date.

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