After the public unveiling of Juicero, a high-tech fruit and vegetable juice-making machine, critics didn’t hold back. Eyebrows shot up at the more than $100 million raised by its maker from Silicon Valley venture capitalists, as well as the Campbell Soup Company; The Verge’s Jacob Kastrenakes called it a "ludicrous product."
On the latest Too Embarrassed to Ask, Juicero CEO Doug Evans defended the Wi-Fi connected juicer and its $700 price point, seemingly undeterred by the skeptics.
"I said, ‘I’m going to do what Steve [Jobs] did,’" he said, recalling how Juicero started. "‘I’m going to take the mainframe computer and create a personal computer. I’m going to take a mainframe juice press and create a personal juice press.’"
For Evans, increasing the popularity of organic juice is personal. After his parents died and his brother had a stroke, he went "cold cucumber," fearing he would be next. That meant no more processed food, refined food, meat, dairy or animal products.
"Fruit’s easy to eat. Vegetables are difficult," Evans told Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode. "So I discovered juicing as a means of getting more vegetables in my diet."
Juicero is different from existing home juicers because it "cold-presses" packets of produce that the company sells for $5 to $7 apiece. It’s also unique in that it is connected to the internet, using a QR code sensor to check the packets’ expiration date.
"I’m not a tech guy. I didn’t know about IoT [Internet of Things] when I designed this," Evans said. "If you’re putting a pack in, we want to make sure that, I know where my produce is coming from ... I want to know when it was packed, and I also want to make sure I know when it’s expiring. It won’t press an expired pack."
Later in the show, Evans answered questions from our readers and listeners about Juicero, plus more from Kara, Lauren and special guest Peter Kafka, host of Recode Media.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.