A juicer that won't make juice unless the produce is marked with special code [Updated]

This has been out for a while, but my IFTF colleague Brad just told me about it last week. It's the $400 Juicero juicing machine. To make juice with it, you must subscribe to receive pre-masticated produce that comes in packs (priced between $7 and $10 per pack, $35 to $50 per week). The packs are marked with a QR code that the Juicero scans to make sure it is "fresh." If the pack gets "out of code" (i.e., it's produce you grew, traded, or brought elsewhere) the Juicero will reject it. It's got a built-in Wi-Fi radio, which checks the date (and monitors your use of the juicer). The machine itself seems pretty neat - it presses the juice by squeezing the fruit, but they really need to let you use your own produce.

If this appeals to you, here's a smart floss dispenser you'll probably like.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Juicero sent me an email, asking me to make some corrections to the piece:

- Produce Packs are $5 - $8 each, not $7 - $10

-The QR code is not to ensure you don’t use your own produce, it’s there to ensure that the produce is fresh, quality and to help consumers manage their Pack subscriptions. We don’t use any preservatives or additives, just fresh, organic produce, so the QR code ensures that the produce in the Packs is within the approx. 6 day shelf life. It also help you manage your Packs by enabling the Juicero App to remind you when your Packs are about to expire. We know that no one wants to waste produce.

-“Pre-masticated produce” would literally mean pre-chewed, which is definitely not the case. The produce inside the Packs is triple washed and finely chopped to optimize the amount of juice you can press from each Pack.

Notable Replies

  1. Not gunna lie; if I were crazy fuckin' rich, I'd buy one. You can hate on drm'd food all you want, but this solves a whole lot of problems with regular juicers; having to buy fresh produce (the pouches keep it sealed and fresh), having to come up with recipes (each pouch is the right blend), and having to clean up (pouch keeps all the mess in).

    I would never buy a coffee machine that used pods, but for juice this seems like it's a lot less hassle than fresh. That said, anyone who buys one of these had better be prepared to chuck $400 out the window when the company behind it goes under and the packs are no longer available.

  2. I'm no juice expert (I only drink it if it's fermented or distilled), but I think once pressed, juice deteriorates more quickly than whole fruit. Of course, chopped fruit deteriorates faster than whole fruit, but since the packets are sealed presumably that minimizes that. So if you want to make juice at home, this seems like one the freshest, least messy way to do it.

    I don't really understand the "cold pressed" craze - maybe it's supposed to keep vitamins less degraded or something. But if you believe that, the local juicer can't touch that, and compared to supermarket versions this would be fresher and cheaper, as @nungesser pointed out.

  3. jealous!

  4. People getting heated. About juice.

  5. Cold pressed or regular snake oil?

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