Top venture capital firms including Google’s venture capital spinoff and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as big companies like Campbell Soup, invested heavily in the company.
“Organic cold-pressed juice is rainwater filtered through the soil and the roots and the stems and the plants,” Mr. Evans told The New York Times last year. “You extract the water molecules, the chlorophyll, the anthocyanin and the flavonoids and the micronutrients. You’re getting this living nutrition. It’s like drinking the nectar of the earth.”
But from the start, there were signs that Juicero would struggle to succeed. The company slashed the price of its press after a few months. Plans for nationwide distribution were slow to materialize.
In October, Mr. Evans stepped down as chief executive and was replaced by Jeff Dunn, an experienced natural food executive. In April, Bloomberg published an article and video demonstrating that Juicero’s expensive and highly engineered press was essentially unnecessary. Reporters squeezed Juicero’s produce packs using their bare hands, and extracted just about the same amount of juice as they did using the press. Last month, Juicero said it was working on further reductions to the price of the press and the pouches.
But the company said it was unable to do this on its own, and decided to shut down. It suggested it would look to sell itself to a bigger company.
“It became clear that creating an effective manufacturing and distribution system for a nationwide customer base requires infrastructure that we cannot achieve on our own as a stand-alone business,” Juicero said in a statement posted on its website. “We are confident that to truly have the long-term impact we want to make, we need to focus on finding an acquirer with an existing national fresh food supply chain who can carry forward the Juicero mission.”
Juicero said in the statement that it had sold more than a million produce packs. But it declined to offer other specifics about the business. Juicero offered refunds to anyone who bought a press.
Mr. Dunn, responding to an email inquiry on Friday, declined to answer questions. “I am slammed with investor calls back to back,” he wrote. “Not doing interviews today, but thanks.”
In its statement on Friday, Juicero also put on a brave face.
“In a short period of time, you’ve validated that there is national demand for easier access to fresh produce…