In Nutralux’s promotional video on the Kickstarter crowdfunding site, a man reaches into a fridge for one of three plastic cylindrical containers filled with whole vegetables.
“What if you could start every morning in the healthiest way possible?” says a voice in the background, belonging to co-founder Anna Mallepalle. “And what if it took only 60 seconds to get your daily dose of fresh nutrients?”
The aforementioned container of vegetables—a recyclable, pre-packaged “Nutrapod”—is then placed in the contraption. With a timer in the bottom left corner, the video shows green juice pouring out into a cup in 30 seconds. Meanwhile, Mallepalle’s voice in the background announces the device’s accomplishment as the “world’s first pod-based juicer.”
Catering to juicing newbies
There are three types of pods planned to go with a Nutralux—an empty, plastic, recyclable one; a stainless steel one that is dishwasher-safe; and a pre-packaged, one-time use pod that is also recyclable.
“We’re targeting two sets of customers,” Mallepalle told FoodNavigator-USA. “One, those who do not want to do any prep, and two, those who need help with creating recipes.”
For the latter group, the Nutralux team believes the pre-packaged pods, as depicted in the video, will be able to help them create juices with “the right balance of fruits and vegetables—eliminating the misconception that juicing is high in sugar,” Mallepalle added.
“We’re currently discussing with different suppliers to see how this option can be delivered,” she added.
Basically, these pods will be sealed plastic containers of whole vegetables and fruits ready to juice in the Nutralux device with no need to wash, chop, slice, or deseed—like a Keurig pod, so to speak. “This makes it as fresh as possible, [users] can juice it at their house,” added Nathan DesJardin, Mallepalle’s husband who also serves as president for the young company, called DesJardin LLC.
They contended that these pods can also be a solution for juicers that want to have their juices prepped in advance, but have been stopped by the fact that the juice will lose its nutrients if kept overnight.
But as the team’s three members (the third is co-founder Matt DesJardin, Nathan’s brother) have extensive background in engineering and product design (they designed the device themselves), they want to keep the company’s focus on the technology. Hence, they are looking for partners to help them with the pre-packaged pod component of their business.
An affordable alternative
When asked about whether or not Nutralux will be positioned as a higher-end, luxury product, Desjardin said “the goal is to make it affordable. Currently, we’re looking to retail it at $349, but we intend to lower it.”
“We are a cold-press juicer—for how efficient [the juicer works] that price point is actually much lower than the equivalent juicers on the market today,” Mallepalle added.
As of press time, their crowdfunding campaign has 110 backers, covering $44,300 of their $65,000 goal with nine days left to go. If successful, the donors will be proud owners of this still unreleased product around November 2016, or January 2017 for European donors.
The crowdfunding effort is to help the team fund molds and tooling, which would be used to get Nutralux into production. The prototype depicted on their video was made by them together with a local fabricator.
On their campaign site, they explained that they “have been intensely focused on bringing Nutralux to fruition since December 2013.” DesJardin said that their Kickstarer is their first method of raising capital, but talks with other investors may be in line for the near future.