Should You Invest In The Keurig Of Juicing?

Photo: Courtesy of Juicero.
Within the span of just a few years, "green juice" turned into a buzzword on par with "organic" and "eating clean." The inevitable result: kitchen tech companies have capitalized on its popularity, creating countertop juicers for all of your at-home juicing needs.

There's a reason that I (and many people I've spoken with) haven't wanted to buy one. They're expensive, running anywhere from $300 to $550. But they also take up tons of space on already-limited apartment countertops, create a mess, and are time consuming. Who wants to spend 20 minutes cutting up fruit, only to spend another 15 cleaning up afterwards?

But earlier this month, I had a look at a new product that aims to solve those problems. The Juicero Press (from San Francisco-based startup Juicero), is like a Keurig for juicing, minus the waste of those unsustainable pods.

Instead of pods, the Juicero Press uses recyclable Juicero Packs, which contain pre-washed and chopped fruits and veggies. The packs stay fresh for five to six days after delivery, and hang inside the press. The machine itself is small, weighs about 30 pounds, and is Wi-Fi enabled. It syncs with an app that gives you information about the farms supplying the produce in your packs, and when they'll expire.

The real magic is its ease of use: All you have to do after inserting the pack is press a button, and your juice is squeezed out within a few minutes. There's no clean up besides removing the pack and recycling it.

I tried Juicero's version of a green juice — spinach, celery, romaine, kale, lemon, and cucumber. Its deliciousness was only topped by the joy of knowing that I wouldn't have to wash anything afterwards. Miraculous.

Unfortunately, juice miracles don't come cheap. A Juicero will cost you $700 — and that's not including the $4 to $10 per single serving juice pack.

But does the world really need a $700 high-tech juicer?

You wouldn't buy a coffee maker if you don't drink coffee, and the same logic applies here. For regular juice drinkers who want a quick, easy way to make their juice before work, the $700 investment is one that, like any other big buy, should (theoretically) pay off over time. While it's not more environmentally friendly than making your own drinks out of fresh fruit, it's at least not as bad as a Keurig. The $4 to $10 individual juice packs are slightly less expensive than the store-bought alternative. But if your juice habit is more on the once-a-week scale, it's probably not worth the money.

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