For thousands of years, food science and technology have aimed to increase food’s longevity, almost always at the expense of taste, nutrition, and sometimes health. Thankfully, this scenario is changing.
Pockets of the restaurant industry, especially in larger U.S. cities like San Francisco, are driving a food renaissance by embracing the concept of “farm to table.” However, most of the broader food industry is still focused on and built around moving us further away from Mother Nature.
Today, “farm to table” is on the verge of a massive breakthrough with the introduction of Juicero. The company promises to provide widespread access to healthy, organic food.
Almost two years ago, Doug Evans, CEO and founder of Juicero, showed me his prototype. Under his leadership, a talented team and notable group of advisors have evolved Juicero into a simple, yet revolutionary concept consisting of breakthroughs in engineering, packaging, connectivity, customer experience, and the supply chain.
With more than 140 patents pending and a promise of “farm to glass in 72 hours,” Juicero delivers the convenience of Nespresso and Keurig; the quality and taste of world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten; and the connected integration of Nest to provide universal access to healthy, organic food.
Juicero is unique in that it:
- Combines mechanical, electrical, and design innovations into one seamless package
- Uses connectivity to track its juice packs from farm production to kitchen consumption with real-time information about supply and demand, as well as the ability to meaningfully interact with users at the point of consumption
- Is an engineering marvel of a countertop appliance that exerts 8,000 lbs. of force to create a delicious and nutritious end product
Juicero’s thoughtfully connected juice press, integrated with a QR code inventory tracking system, represents a new breed of devices whose connectivity and inventory tracking can revolutionize supply chains. For the first time in history, individual servings of a product will be tracked from the farm to the fridge to the point of consumption.
This information not only benefits consumers from a health and food safety perspective but holds the promise of supplying organic farmers with much-needed demand signals. Farmers can be informed about what to plant and even guarantee demand as they transition acreage to organic farmland, currently a revenue losing proposition that takes about three years to implement.
Juicero also represents the first time a food company has had the ability to communicate with consumers at the time of consumption. The company achieves this by offering consumers nutrition and health information about what they are drinking in real-time, even integrating it with quantified self and fitness apps.
This information also protects consumers by double checking for food recalls and expiration dates prior to pressing. This value-added connectivity for both consumers and suppliers combined with inventory tracking opens the floodgates to significant marketing, inventory management, business model, and quality improvements.
When I first saw Doug’s prototype, Juicero’s aims may have seemed just outside the realm of reality; but we were willing to venture that Doug would hire and inspire the best talent from multiple disciplines to make the impossible, possible. Today, he has done just that.
Juicero has grown from seven full-time employees to more than 75. The company also has a strong balance sheet due to smart and responsible management of $16.5 million in Series A and $70 million in series B funding.
Juicero’s massive total addressable market taps into fast growth areas including the $14 billion single-serving home appliance, $32 billion bottled juice, and $39 billion connected home markets.
In a hardware-focused world where companies race to force connectivity into any and all devices to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT), we believe Juicero’s thoughtfully integrated connectivity will entice users, food scientists, farmers, and financial analysts alike.
My philosophy is that you have to make money to make change. I often wonder how much organic produce Safeway would carry if Whole Foods had remained a food co-op in Texas. Sometimes changing the world is as simple as using our technology prowess to embrace nature and bring it closer to us, rather than taking us further away from the true source of fresh and healthy food.
It’s an exciting time. Welcome Juicero.