On a recent episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Juicero CEO Doug Evans spoke with Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode about why his company made a $700 high-tech organic fruit juicer.
You can read some of the highlights from their discussion at that link, or listen to it in the audio player above. Below, we’ve posted a lightly edited complete transcript of their conversation.
Transcript by Celia Fogel.
Lauren Goode: Before we started taping today, Kara and I actually had smart juice.
Kara Swisher: Smart juice.
LG: Do we want to call it that?
KS: I don't know. Is it smart? Do I feel smarter for drinking it? I feel hopped up!
LG: Do you? Only you can determine that.
KS: No, I did. It's really interesting. This is an area of interest because there's a lot of juice going on in San Francisco and now it's sort of spread like a virus across the United States — avoiding the Midwest, of course. There's juice places all over the place, there's all kinds of juice companies, a lot of them are in supermarkets, the JuiceBot, Odwalla, some others. And so it's a big trend and now Silicon Valley's sort of jumping into it with a gadget having to do with juicing. There's a lot of juicers that are on the market. Regular things that you buy like the Bullet and other things like that and very expensive juice machines, but this is a different take: Juicero.
LG: That's right. And you may have heard of it because at the time in launched it got a fair amount of attention. And we're very happy to welcome Doug Evans, the founder of Juicero to the Too Embarrassed to Ask show. Doug, thank you so much for joining us today.
Doug Evans: Oh it's my pleasure, I love you guys.
LG: So when Juicero launched earlier this year, as I said earlier, it got quite a bit of attention. Some juicing devotees loved the idea. Other people asked, "Why might I want to spend $700 on a Wi-Fi-connected juicer?" And that's one of the topics we're going to get into today.
KS: Yup, a lot of questions for Doug. You ready to answer them? Because I literally just texted someone about it and they said, "The juice pack company." They don't know quite what's going on here. And it feels expensive and very Silicon Valley. People make good Juicero jokes, but it's actually pretty cool. I hadn't seen it myself. It is an expensive item but it's a really interesting take on people that spend that much money at these juicing stores, like $11 for one or whatever they happen to be. So we've got a lot of questions for you.
LG: Before we get started with Juicero questions, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your background because this is not your first juicing rodeo.
KS: No. You've juiced before. And not in the Olympic Russian way.
KS: So tell us about it.
I was born and raised in New York City and after high school I went into the army. And so I was an artist and I went into the army and when I got out of the army I ended up getting into graphic design. And graphic design turned into desktop publishing and postscript and all sorts of interesting things.
And then I moved into multimedia. And then there was crisis in my family. My mom died of cancer, my father died of heart disease, my brother developed Type 2 diabetes, atrial fibrillation, hypertension, and then had a stroke at 40. And for me, I was just terrified that I was next. And so I somewhat went cold cucumber and stopped eating processed food, refined food, meat, dairy and animal products, and I started eating plants. Fruit is easy to eat, vegetables are difficult. So I discovered juicing as a means of getting more servings of vegetables into my diet. And then I realized everything I was doing on the technology side was meaningless for me and I wanted to devote my life —
KS: Why was it meaningless?
It was just about making money. Like you'd get an account and you'd do a project and it was all like a quid quo pro. Get a scope, deliver the project, you'd get some accolades, but it was all about completing a task.
LG: You were on a treadmill.
I was on a treadmill. And I thought, "What can I do that can have the greatest impact on humanity, on human health?" And I met a woman and we decided we would create a business called Organic Avenue where you could go in and everything was going to be made out of fresh, ripe, raw organic fruits and vegetables.
LG: But why juicing? If you wanted to get involved in health, what about juicing really jumped out at you as the answer?
I think the research that came out of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines said 92 percent of Americans aren't getting enough servings of fruits and vegetables. And vegetables are heard to eat and juicing was an easy way to get someone to have a serving of fruits and vegetables. So it was quick to drink, if it was made with the right recipe and formula, it was easy to drink, and it turns out that people like that. So that was the easiest way that I could think of that would get more people to have more servings of fruits and vegetables. [I wanted] to somewhat close that gap of that recommendation of 7-13 servings. The average American is having less than one serving [of vegetables a day], and that could be potatoes or onions or tomatoes.
LG: So it's 2002 in New York City and you and Denise Mari, she starts Organic Avenue, right? And you get involved early on and help fund it.
Funded it and incubated it.
LG: Okay, so briefly tell us what happened to Organic Avenue.
We grew a hundred percent a year, year over year, through 2012 and then we took on a partner that had a different vision for us. They bought out most of our equity and then the day they had controlling interest they told us to go take a walk. And so in January 2013 I had a big problem, which was how was I going to get my juice?
LG: But I think important things happened during that time that you were involved with that business. The culture around [juice] changed or grew even more.
KS: Got huge suddenly.
When we started Organic Avenue in 2002 we were the only cold-pressed, organic bottled juice company in the United States. And by 2012 there were hundreds of companies. And it became commoditized. There was very little barrier to entry. Anyone could buy a juicer, squeeze some juice, put it in a bottle.
KS: Talk about those juices, like what they were doing. The cold-pressed process. And people bought juicers, too. There was a documentary about it, there was all kinds of stuff going on. Everyone bought a juicer — I have several, I think.
LG: Yeah, when we were chatting earlier I was saying to Doug, my limited experience with juicing has been this giant machine that I borrowed from a friend. As far as I know, a lot of people start juicing and it's a phase for them so they just give their machines to friends and say, "Go ahead, you can use this machine." So it's this multi-part expensive machine where I had to jam the vegetables into the top and then the stuff was extruded and then I had to clean it afterwards and it was all kinds of frustrating. But what you were doing at Organic Avenue and what you're doing now is cold-pressed juicing which is different. Tell us how that's different.
So the normal home juicer is a spinning metal basket and you'd put produce in the top in a hopper and then it would meet this spinning gasket —
KS: Yes, and you have to clean it. It takes forever.
It takes forever and it's a centrifuge operating between 2500 and 10,000 rpms. It's high speed, it generates heat and it makes a mess. And so the insight there was, people love juicing but no one wants to actually go out, buy the produce, make the juice, clean the juicer. And then secondly, the cold-press process was this ancient process being used for thousands of years where it was basically like how they make wine: they'd mash the grapes and put it into a cloth, and then they apply tons of force to make the wine. That's how you'd make cold-pressed juice. So we had that discovery, we bought our first cold-press juicer. It weighed like a hundred pounds, it costs thousands of dollars, and then it only made three gallons an hour. So we're there all day long [KS laughs]. So we went from one of those to five of those and then we bought our first industrial juice press. It was the size of a telephone booth and that made 15 gallons an hour.
KS: Which wasn't a lot either.
Wasn't a lot either. And then we bought five of those.
KS: Hence the charge of $11 a bottle.
Yeah, hence the charge and all the labor. And then we bought a juice press that had six of these platens and it made 50 gallons an hour. And I bought five of those. And then we graduated to this one, literally the size of this room, that had 24 platens and it made 500 gallons an hour. And now we were at scale. We could do 10,000 bottles a day, it was a real business. But other people were just doing it without understanding the economics. We were the only ones that were USDA certified organic. So people were saying they're organic, they weren't organic. They were getting produce from wherever. And we had the insight of fresh produce comes from a farm, not from a distributor, not from necessarily a supermarket. And even buying in a farm stand, the produce could be left out. And once you break the cold chain it can be compromised in quality. So when we came to cold pressing we bought directly from a farm.
The produce came to our refrigerated facility. We triple washed it like bagged salad then diced it, sliced it, chopped it. Put it into the large press and we'd make juice and fill it.
KS: So then you switched. You switched to this. You wanted to make a device for people to use.
Yeah. I was sitting in my apartment in Brooklyn with my health coach —
KS: He's gotta be living in Williamsburg right now, right?
LG: Park Slope maybe?
I was in Fort Greene.
LG: The next Williamsburg.
KS: The next Williamsburg.
So I was with this health coach, Maria Marlowe, and we're discussing, you know, juicing. And she's like, "Doug, you have so much anxiety." And I was like, "Well, I was so used to going to the Organic Avenue kitchen first thing in the morning, with my glass, and having them make pressed juice and it would go right into my glass and it didn't even matter what flavor they were making, I just wanted that freshness." And I knew that fresh juice was like coffee. It was evanescent. The flavors are fleeting after the pressing is happening.
And so then I'm thinking, "Well, could I make it here?" And that's when all my whole life —
KS: And you didn't just want to buy a Bullet or something.
No, all those —
LG: Organic Avenue did end up going bankrupt but it does still exist now because the founder bought it back, correct? So couldn't you just go to Organic Avenue like you used to even though you weren't involved with it anymore and go buy a juice?
What happened is I knew too much. Like at that point I knew too much about quality. I knew that the best juice was juice made in that moment. And so I became obsessed. I told Maria, and she does, "Well, what are you going to do now?" Right? "You have money, you have time ..." And I said, "I'm going to do what Steve did. I'm going to take the mainframe computer and create a personal computer, I'm going to take a mainframe juice press and I'm going to create a personal juice press," and my original design was supposed to be easy to clean.
LG: Steve being Steve Jobs.
The Steve, yeah. I worked with Steve on the next corporate identity. I was used to being yelled at by both Paul [Rand] and Steve in the same day and the same time. It was a great experience about product. And so my product definition was to design a juicer based on cold-press technology that was going to be easy to clean and could exist on a ten-by-ten-inch footprint on a countertop. And it seemed impossible.
KS: Well it's big. It's a big device. The Juicero is a big device. But you need that for the power of the pressing, correct?
Yeah, well, at ten inches it's the same size of a Keurig, it's the same size of a Breville Juicer.
KS: It's got a profile.
LG: For our listeners, we're actually looking at it right now and you guys can't see it but it is here in our office.
KS: She's petting it in a disturbing way.
LG: Doug is stroking it lovingly and it looks kind of like it would be like an old iMac. The iMac of juicers. It also sort of looks like ET’s head when he's wearing that sheet. But it's got this aluminum front door to it. I don't know if I described it very well.
KS: So you wanted to make this device and the issue is the technology around the pressing. It's gotta be a lot of force.
Inside the Juicero machine there's four —
KS: Let's talk technology because it's a technology show.
There are 400 custom parts in here. There's two motors, there's 10 printed circuit boards, there's a scanner, there's a microprocessor, there's a wireless chip, wireless antenna. There's 775 aircraft-grade aluminum. There's a gear box. There's latches that support 16,000 pounds of force. So this is basically a monster of a machine inside this veil of this nice aesthetic.
KS: And then you have to put these packs in. And these are packs of produce, not juice. My friend wrote and said "juice packs." You don't just squeeze juice into a glass.
No no, it's fresh-cut produce.
KS: Right, which you cut in your kitchens.
Yeah, we have a four-and-half-acre campus in Southern California with a 111,000 square foot —
KS: And you source from organic farms.
From farms directly. So we don't store. That's another big insight, we don't store produce in there. We basically get the orders through the internet, we break them into the individual recipes, they get concatenated, and then we say, "Oh, we need 500 pounds of spinach. Which farmer has the spinach?" We source from them and then they harvest, chop, and then send to us in refrigerated trucks. Then when it comes into our plant we triple wash it so every ingredient, we use about 20 ingredients, gets washed in a different manner. So you wash the carrots different than the spinach, even different than the romaine, different from the celery. So everything gets washed, and then we have a specific size reduction technique that we use. So for example, pineapple gets chopped to half inch chunks. But spinach goes into 1/16th of an inch chunks. So basically we're opening up the cell walls so that we're allowing under force the water molecules to come out.
KS: So does that then mean the food gets old? So you vacuum seal them?
As I showed you [through] the little hole in the bag, this produce is alive so it's respiring — it's releasing CO2 and it's consuming oxygen. So it has a six-day shelf life in the home. So basically we are prepping it with this washing then dicing/slicing/chopping, mixing it so it's a perfectly balanced item that lasts for six days in the home.
KS: And you can't freeze it or anything else.
No, if you freeze it you end up compromising the cellular structure and you're not able to make juice out of it.
KS: So you get these things on the internet and you make them immediately.
KS: You have them so people order every week, they get weekly shipments of these packs.
Weekly, sometimes once or twice a week.
KS: Once or twice a week they get these packs and then they use them. And then inside the packs there's produce left that they can use for a variety of things.
Yeah, there's fiber. [There are] hundreds of recipes of what people are doing with it. They're making pizza crust, they're making crackers, they're making muffins and flours, they're adding it and mixing it in with their oatmeal, because it's just really healthy fiber.
LG: What's your 30-second review of it?
KS: I like it. I have to say I'm surprised. I thought it was juice in a bag and you just squeeze it into your glass. For some reason I just thought that.
Yeah, you wouldn't need a $699 device to do that.
LG: Oh right, it's the pressure that you're paying for.
KS: Yeah exactly.
LG: But also, it's Wi-Fi connected. So tell us why.
The main reason for the Wi-Fi — and I'm not like a tech guy, I didn't know about IoT, I never heard IoT when I designed this. The most important thing is if you're putting a pack in, we want to make sure that I know where my produce is coming from. So I want the transparency to know which farms the produce is coming from. I wanted to know when it was packed and I also wanted to make sure that I knew when it was expiring. So once the pack goes in there, it won't press an expired pack. So that's key. And then secondly, if you think about the nutrition, like, I know a lot about nutrition but I don't know the difference on a subtle level. So here, every time I press a pack, I actually can see what ingredients I consumed and what the nutrition profile was for each and every pack that was pressed.
KS: And then each of those packs costs what? How much?
$5, $6 and $7 each.
KS: What costs $7?
Basically it's priced like fresh produce. So if you go to the market, certain ingredients cost more than others. So carrots and beets are less expensive than kale and romaine.
KS: So you're competing with, say, all these juice companies out there that are selling them in the streets, $11, $10, whatever they are.
KS: They're all over Brooklyn, I can tell you that.
I think they're all over. But one of the things we didn't talk about which I'm happy to say is, this machine is what they called NSF approved so it can actually work in a commercial kitchen. So Whole Foods created the first self-service juice bar in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, using Juiceros. So they have a row of Juicero machines — where 50 percent of the population is below the poverty line in Silver Lake, they can buy the pack and go press their own juice, they don't even need to buy the machine.
KS: And then they just leave the pack there.
They leave the pack there and then Whole Foods cuts it open and composts it. And then Le Pain Quotidien bought 20 machines and they rolled it out in eight of their restaurants, so they're putting Juicero cold-pressed juice on the menu. So it's actually restaurant-grade juice being made available through the same post consumer device.
LG: Do you consider yourself a tech company or a food company?
You know, I think we're a company wanting to have an impact on human health and the planet and the environment. I don't think in terms of tech or food.
KS: And you don't compare yourself to things like Soylent and other food tech companies?
One of the things of like about our vision — as you know, Campbell’s Soup invested, and so the CEO of Campbell's invited me to present to their 15 board members and the top 10 executives of the company. And they asked, "What's your vision of the company for Juicero?" And I said, "The vision is to be a fresh food company." And they go, "Well but you're making juice."
I said, "Juice is food." We're just taking simple ingredients, no additives, no preservatives, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, and we're allowing them to be consumed. So it's this intersection of fresh, organic agriculture, and desktop technology to make it easy so that you can make a juice in two minutes.
KS: And there's a lot of money going toward this, correct? I mean there's Soylent, the plant meat —
KS: Impossible Burger, which we showed off at Code.
Beyond Meat. How much money did you raise?
We raised north of $120 million.
KS: Whoa. And from?
Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Campbell’s Soup, Thrive Capital, Artist Ventures.
KS: That's a lot of money. How many have you sold of these?
Oh, come on.
KS: Come on what?
We're not releasing sales numbers but I —
KS: Like 10?
No. I mean, we could sell 10 during this podcast. You probably know at least 10 people that bought it, Kara.
KS: I probably do. But I have 10 people that are really stupid, too. I mean, it's a lot of money! It's not stupid to buy this but it's expensive. You've got a really small … It's a very expensive item, correct?
I mean, if you think about it, if someone is buying —
KS: If you drink juice every day and you're spending $10 a day …
It's a bargain. And it's a fresher product.
KS: Yes, yes, that's true.
LG: The freshness may be indisputable but just in terms of the health benefits there have been a lot of studies that have come out around how healthy juicing is for you. In fact, if you go to the Mayo Clinic, the very top of the page, it says, "Juicing is not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables." I'm not saying you're claiming it's any healthier, but how healthy are you saying this is?
I think that people get confused and it's very easy to nitpick. The problem that we're solving is not whether juicing is healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables, it's the fact that people aren't eating whole fruits and vegetables, so juicing is a means to get someone to have more incremental servings of fruits and vegetables.
KS: And also a lot of the juices are crap, they just are. They're full of sugar, they're full of crap.
Yeah. Additives, preservatives.
KS: So if they have a strawberry kale thing and it's mostly sugar it's problematic. That's I think the issue.
And most things ... I mean, the war on sugar is the war on added sugar, refined sugar, from cane and beet and high fructose corn syrup. So the guidelines are having more fruits and vegetables. If this is 100 percent fruits and vegetable juice, then it's considered healthy.
LG: But in terms of the soluble fiber that a consumer is actually getting from Juicero juice —
Yeah, the soluble fiber is good for your microbiome. It's real, there's fiber in it, we're removing some of the insoluble fiber in the juicing process because otherwise you wouldn't have a drink. Like coffee, soda, milk, energy drinks —
KS: But you can add it in. You can eat the pulp.
You can eat the pulp.
KS: Pulp, right, if you want to do that. And mix it in.
It's very personal.
KS: Every week, we ask our readers and listeners to send in their questions, comments, or complaints about tech topics, and you can do that by tweeting us with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed. This week we asked our listeners for their questions about juicing and juicing technology, and we actually have Peter Kafka in the studio at the same time because he's a famous juicer!
PK: Thanks for letting me watch your juicing conversations, guys. It's very exciting.
KS: You enjoy the juice, let's just say.
PK: Juice tastes great!
LG: Thanks for crashing the juicing party, Peter.
PK: Thanks dudes. I don't want to spoil this, maybe someone's already asked this, but Doug, is this thing internet connected?
DE: Yes it is.
PK: Why is it internet connected?
KS: He answered that, but go ahead, answer it again.
DE: I think the main reason is for one, for transparency. Because for me as a consumer I want to know where my produce is coming from, I want to know when it's packed, and I want to know when it's expired. So inside of the Juicero press there's a scanner and on every pack of produce there's a QR code. So when you press the first thing it's doing is it's making sure the produce is not expired. And then once it checks it's not expired it is then kind if giving you the green light to press it. And then you get all the information about what's inside of that produce pack.
PK: So do you think all my kitchen appliances are going to be internet connected?
DE: I'm only obsessed about the juicing point.
PK: You only care about juice, so you don't care if I have an internet-connected toaster or oven or coffee maker.
DE: When I designed Juicero, I'd never heard of IoT. I didn't know how we were going to connect it to the internet, I was just thinking, like, it's really important to know what produce you're consuming and making sure that if you're pulling a produce bag out of the refrigerator, one is going to look like the next. And because there's a six-day shelf life I wanted to add the safety mechanism so someone wouldn't be —
PK: Right, so this is something I can scan on the phone but you're saying it's easier, I'm just going to shove it into the machine and the machine will do that scanning for me.
DE: Automatically, every time, 100 percent.
PK: Okay, cool. I'll step out of the way so the listeners can ask their questions.
LG: Good questions, Peter. Thanks. We got a couple questions about chi. The first question comes from Sam Biddle, @SamFBiddle on Twitter, who wanted me to ask about this. Because you were quoted as saying in a previous article, "Not all juice is equal. How do you measure life force, how do you measure chi?" We had a follow-up question from Nitin Gupta, @nitingupta2 who asks, "Yes, how much chi does it contain per serving?" I literally don't know what they're talking about so if you could help explain chi that would be great.
KS: Yes, thank you.
So chi to me — and it's kind of funny in that people will tend to make jokes about things. For me, I'm serious as a heart attack. So when I describe chi and life force and in preparation I really want to be clear. If you were to take a steamed almond and a raw almond, they look the same. But if you plant them, what's going to happen to the steamed almond?
KS: It's going to grow an almond tree.
No, the steamed one is going to decay. It's going to rot. But the raw almond —
KS: Oh, okay. I'm not a farmer.
But you get now that if you steam it, you actually remove the life force. It's dead. So it will just decay. But that raw almond will have that chi in it. And that chi will allow it to sprout into a seedling and grow into an almond tree and replicate itself a million times over.
LG: So chi is life?
It's life force.
KS: Life force. It's life force. But I think Sam asked the other question, why would anyone buy this because they could buy juice? What makes it more special besides the chi part?
It's fresh. To me, chi was an esoteric way of describing that this is fresh. So most things that are in bottles and cans are frozen or pasteurized or processed. And Juicero, the shift in Juicero is like, we're not selling juice. We are selling fresh produce and then the Juicero press presses out juice from the produce.
KS: Alright, next question Lauren?
LS: Next question is from David V. He's @The0DD1 on Twitter. He asks, "Can I replace any of my meals using Juicero #tooembarrassed?" I think I'm going to preface any answer we give here: I don't think any of us in the room are medical professionals, right?
KS: Right. Yes.
LG: Let's keep that in mind.
KS: Do people do that? Is that what you're aiming at?
So we do not recommend replacing this Juicero with a meal. We recommend Juicero as a really healthy nutrient-dense beverage.
KS: And that's it.
LG: So David, there's your answer, don't do it.
KS: Don't do it. This is Jaanis, @sqrt1764. "Is this a serious project that you think is a crucial step in our future? Or is it just a whim?" It's interesting, people have a reaction to Juicero.
KS: [Arianna voice] Juicero. How's that?
I worked on this for 33 months in stealth. With a hundred people working on this. And I look at this as one of the most significant things to impact human health on a global basis. So people are coming to us from all countries around the world saying, "We need more servings of fruits and vegetables, we like juice, I don't want to clean my juicer, how can we expand here?" So from parents, and you've got two young boys, people want to consume more fruits and vegetables and this is I think the secret weapon to make more incremental servings available.
KS: What happens if something happens to your company, if they don't get packets? I mean, then it's just like a thing that stands there. It's gotta continually get packets, correct? Because that's one of the things. You're sort of — I'm not saying you're going out of business, $120 million, but it depends on the packets.
It depends on the packets, but it's interesting …
KS: Like Keurig and I guess the coffee.
Well, people thought the hard part was creating the device itself, the hardware and the software and the cloud and the infrastructure and the data base and the ERP systems. The hard part was designing the packaging. And the recipes and the formulations. We have nine food scientists at Juicero being able to say, "How do you take that fresh produce and make it so that you have a recipe that works, that tastes good, that's nutritional, that has the right nutrition profile, and has the shelf life for that six days?" Because if you were to just take produce and put it in a bag and seal it, it would go anaerobic and become mealy in 24 hours. So dealing with that fresh supply chain, from the farms —
KS: So they're dependant on your company. It's sort of like the razor blade: You sold them a razor and then the razor blade, the same with the packets of Keurig or anything else. It depends on your company not going out of business.
Yeah, I think our company's just thriving with month-over-month growth and incredible reception from offices and, you know, we did a podcast with Rich Roll Ultramarathoner, and Michael Rapino from Live Nation heard the podcast, ordered a machine, and he's the CEO of Live Nation.
KS: Yes, we know.
And he said, "If you're in LA, come by my office." I went by his office, he bought 50 Juicero machines and they're putting them all through their office.
KS: [laughs] Good to know!
LG: He personally paid for those?
No, Live Nation!
PK: Recode Media guest, he's made a lot of money, he can afford 50 machines.
No, but the point is that they're putting them in their offices as an alternative and a replacement for soda. For carbonated, sugary beverages.
KS: Peter, put that on the list for our new office.
PK: One of our demands?
KS: Yeah, one of our demands from the Vox Media people.
PK: Get on it, Bankoff.
KS: Yeah, Bankoff, get on it.
Now, do you guys want one? Do you want a Juicero here? We can like leave this here.
LG: Due to our strict ethics policies we cannot accept gifts from the companies we cover, but thank you.
Oh, I wasn't saying I was giving it to you, I'm selling it to you.
PK: Also we're not in the concert business, we don't really have any money.
KS: But we'll get one from Michael Rapino perhaps as a gift, a Christmas gift. Lauren, read the next questions.
LG: This was a follow-up question from Jaanis who asked the previous questions and it's a good one. "What is the average income of your typical customer?" Because once again this is an expensive ...
In our signup process we actually don't get that information, but what I could tell you is the zip codes would say that household income is $75,000 - $150,000 in the zip codes where people are buying Juicero.
LG: Geographically are you noticing any patterns? Is it a lot of SIlicon Valley, this area? Or are people buying it all over? Do you sell abroad?
Right now we're only selling in California.
LG: Oh, okay.
But we're expanding into other surrounding west coast states, so Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington state. And we'll be in New York in the fall.
KS: Alright, next question. Peter has a question.
PK: Josh, @_projectjosh, wants to know about a recent article, probably articles, exposing marketing behind super foods as hot air. And he says, "Thoughts?"
DE: I don't really understand what the definition is of a super food. We're using kale and spinach and celery and romaine. So we're using traditional [ingredients]. Probably the closest thing to a super food that we would have is we're using turmeric or ginger, so these are foods that might have a higher nutritional density and some claim that other people might make from antiinflammatory parts, but basically we're sticking to very simple, household known fruits and vegetables.
PK: Did these guys ask about the argument that when you juice the stuff you take out the nutritional value?
KS: Yes, yes, we were going to give you some pulp later.
LG: Yeah, we ate it.
PK: Okay, so there's pulp left.
LG: We ate it, it was delicious, like grassy peat moss.
PK: I should just listen to the podcast as a participant.
KS: Try another, Peter.
PK: Do we have any more questions?
KS: No, so you do one.
PK: We already asked about average income.
PK: Do you have any plans to sort of make a lower entry level version of this? Is there a Juicero Junior at some point?
KS: Excellent question. Juicero Junior.
DE: We have a full engineering team and we're working on a lot of different things and we're getting feedback. But we have no announcements for future products.
PK: That's a very very Apple-like answer [KS laughs]. Good job. You just raised your market cap considerably.
DE: Yeah. So look, I would love, you know, my vision is to make this ubiquitous. Right now it is what it is to make this and as we sell more —
KS: And get the quality, presumably.
DE: Yeah, this is a unique quality. I mean, you pressed the button, Kara, it had that feel.
KS: It was a button, it was a nice button.
LG: Were you surprised at all by some of the attention, negative or otherwise, that Juicero got upon launching a few months ago?
KS: It was a lot of money too, that's the thing.
I think that — with hindsight being 20/20 — I don't feel like I got the mission across that we wanted to design a mechanism for people to have more servings of fruits and vegetables. People focused on that we raised $120 million and that the machine costs $700. But they didn't really understand that if you want to be healthy, you need to have more servings of fruits and vegetables. And where everyone is busy and working two jobs and other things, they're just not getting it. So this was the apogee of convenience and quality and nutrition kind of all bundled into one.
KS: And in a beautiful tech package.
Yeah, so I think I didn't take anything personally, I was just like, "Wow." I found it interesting that it became newsworthy. Like there were something like 150 unique stories written.
KS: Well, you had Campbell's Soup, you had $120 million, you had a cool-looking machine, you got juice. Come on. You just need Donald Trump and it's like —
LG: And the Wi-Fi. People say, "Why is it Wi-Fi? Why does everything have to be Wi-Fi connected?"
LG: That's why it got some of the attention.
I'm just kind of heads down and working on how do we make this thing work, how do we scale it, how do we make sure that we can supply these packs and deliver a great experience.
KS: So where are they selling now? Just online?
KS: Just online. Do you expect to put them in stores? The designer Behar, the successful one, is the water ... what's it called? I'm blanking.
LG: Oh, SodaStream. I have one of those.
KS: Me too. And I love it.
LG: It's fantastic. It's a great thing, it saves me a lot of money, I make fizzy water all the time and I like it. And it has all kinds of things offshooting it, if you want to sweeten it or not or whatever. So is that what you're looking for? And Yves [Behar] is the same designer.
Yeah, Yves did the industrial design.
KS: Yeah, so is that what you're going for? Because that's been a really successful product.
I think what we were going for, I mean really simple, I had the insight that people who had a home juicer used it once or twice a month.
KS: Yeah, the cleaning is horrible.
People who had a SodaStream or a Nespresso or a Keurig used it once or twice a day. And I said, "Well, what would the world be like if people could actually have fresh juice at home once or twice a day?" And that's what we're seeing. I mean, we're seeing the adoption rate. We were estimating people would drink five juices a week. And they're drinking close to eight. Which is just great. So seeing that level of attachment rate and adoption, and people love it. So I'm very happy. And I think you know, I'm a modest guy, I wasn't expecting to do this on that level but now we have a responsibility to bring this out to the world.
KS: On that note, thank you so much.
LG: Thank you, Doug, for taking the time to chat with us today.
KS: Doug of Juicero.
LG: Doug Evans. And you're @DougEvans on Twitter. Doug, thanks so much for joining us.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.