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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2020

An Interview with John Yanyali, JuiceBot CEO: ‘Seeing Unhealthy Eating Habits Dominate the Lives of Millions, We Designed a Smooth Delivery System to Provide Ease in Accessibility to Healthy Food & Beverages’

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“Our vision is to create equal opportunity in access to healthy foods.”

The current regulatory environment and consumer preferences are changing rapidly. Laws and regulations are restricting the sale of unhealthy food and beverages at vending machines and they also hold the food up to nutritional value standards to rule out significant amount of junk food. Consumers are also becoming more conscious of what they eat and drink and seek healthier alternatives. Thus, the vending industry is changing to accommodate better quality food options. All these factors are paving the way for companies like JuiceBot.

Besides, in light of the current pandemic, the use of automated systems (like JuiceBot) can ensure continued delivery of fresh beverages with minimum person-to-person contact. By enabling automated systems and remote monitoring, the risk of foreign contaminants can be eliminated and sterilization and disinfection systems can be controlled and managed much more efficiently and safely. 

JuiceBot, a food-tech company, has created a convenient distribution system for fresh and healthy beverages by combining unique food safety technology, and scalable hardware and software into a single platform to serve people who care for their well-being.

The company was incorporated in 2017 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

John Yanyali, JuiceBot CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your services in brief.

JuiceBot is the world’s first-ever robotic vending machine that delivers fresh-pressed juice at the touch of a button. Combining the convenience of vending services with the fresh and customizable aspect of juice bars, JuiceBot is setting a new standard for healthy vending options. It offers a variety of juice blends and combinations to ensure the satisfaction of its consumers. The Bot keeps light and heat oxidation out, and freshness in for really amazing fresh juice. JuiceBot serves corporate cafés, universities, gyms, apartment complexes, retail shopping centers, and many more where people are looking for a healthy pick-me-up drink.

Q. Why did you choose this idea? Why do you care?

Our vision is to create equal opportunity in access to healthy foods. Seeing unhealthy eating habits dominate the lives of millions, we designed a smooth delivery system to provide ease in accessibility to healthy food and beverages. We are committed to simplifying being healthy via our innovative design, efficient supply chain, and desire to collaborate with local communities.

Q. Tell us about your supply chain and collaborations with local communities.

We work with local juice bars and juice brands to bring curated seasonal juices to customers. Our juice partners source, produce and store the juice for us. The demand for juice is determined by the sales data collected by each Bot. Depending on the replenishment schedule of the machines, each Bot is first cleaned and sanitized and then restocked. Customers choose from the four pre-mixed flavors of cold-pressed juice or mix any of them to customize. They select cup size and pay with credit and debit cards, or ApplePay, and GooglePay. We partner with locations such as shopping malls, residential buildings, school campuses, corporate offices, stadiums, etc. to have the Bots at the customers disposable. Customers are thrilled with the concept of JuiceBot and they love revisiting the Bots multiple times a week. They realize how easy it is to opt-out for healthier beverages if it is made convenient and affordable. Our customers are the reason, why we gained so much traction to be at locations like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Disney Studios.

Q. How do you maintain a wide range of locations with minimal technical issues?

IoT technology enables our technical and operational team to be informed about the current machine status in real-time. The teams get alerted for any technical errors, low stock, and unusual activity and can resolve the problem via remote connection to the Bot. With our superior service quality, we maintain 98 percent technical uptime.

Q. Tell us about the reception you received for JuiceBot.thesiliconreview-juicebot-image-20

Three years down the road, we custom designed and manufactured 20 Bots. We actively operated these Bots at various locations, secured partnerships with well-known brands including Disney Studios, Nordstrom, Neiman, Marcus, SpacesWorks, and sold over 15,000 cups. We continuously get national and international franchising requests as we build our network.

Q. How do you market your services?

We market our services primarily through social media -- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as our website thejuicebot.com. We also appear at events and pop-ups in SoCal throughout the year to showcase our incredible Bots and serve many juice lovers. To keep up with the latest news, follow us on social media and the website for our event calendar.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

In light of COVID, we are developing ways to reduce contact with the machines to reduce concerns about safety and sanitization. Our Bots are already equipped with UV disinfection technology to self-disinfect after every use. We want to take it one step further, so we will be rolling-out our touch-less vending feature where customers can order and pay via their mobile devices, and all they have to do is to reach out to the Bot and pick up their cup. 

Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?

In the next five years, we hope to be operating nationwide at big-box retail locations, residential buildings, school campuses, corporate offices, stadiums and have a larger penetration in the vending machine industry. Also, we expect to grow our franchising network internationally and include more juice partners along the way. Our goal is to make JuiceBot and healthy beverages as accessible as traditional vending machines and to change the way people find, understand, and consume food.

John Yanyali: A Visionary Leader

John Yanyali, as an experienced CEO, manages the day-to-day operations of JuiceBot & Co. He builds and models a great company culture while providing inspired leadership to the executive team. He sets a course for JuiceBot’s strategy by establishing a great working relationship with his team and board of managers. John is an entrepreneur who jumped into the business world by investing in the agriculture, education, construction, and technology industries. He then expanded into the Smart Industry, with a focus on the energy, finance, infrastructure, transportation, and security industries. Later in his career, took the CEO position at a digital technologies provider, and under his leadership, the company became the largest manufacturer and developer of custom hardware and software systems in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2017, he joined the founding team of JuiceBot as the CEO.

“We are committed to simplifying being healthy via our innovative design, efficient supply chain, and desire to collaborate with local communities.