Following a two-year-long hiatus between visits to International CES, Juice-brand rechargeable batteries and collateral Juice products were out in force at a booth display here earlier this month.
Juice batteries, produced by Sharon, Pa.-based Winner International, maker of The Club steering-wheel locking device, did not display at CES in 2004, due to what it said was a lag in technology for its Multi-Charger. The roll-out was put on hold for a year, because the product was not yet of value to the market, said Juice.
The delayed launch has come full circle this year, with the charger ready for distribution as a value proposition for consumers. The unit powers up all types of AA and AAA rechargeable batteries, including rechargeable alkaline, nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel cadmium — at the same time in one compact unit, according to Juice.
Marketed toward younger, Generation X and Y consumers, who heavily utilize gaming devices and PDAs, and would be interested in recharging, the Multi-Charger is sleekly designed with a silver ABS body and blue transparent lid cover.
It utilizes a programmable microchip that monitors the recharging power and automatically identifies the type of battery, even if these are mixed. Then, it charges each battery individually up to full capacity in an average of two to three hours, depending on cell type and discharge. The charger can even detect single-use alkaline batteries and will not charge these. A single Juice rechargeable alkaline can be recharged up to 100 times, while rechargeable NiMH cells can be recharged up to 1,000 times.
The charger, which is being earmarked for $29.99 suggested retail, has a full launch scheduled for this spring.
A Juice Multi-Charger starter kit/value pack is being offered with two AA and two AAA Juice rechargeable alkaline cells, two AA and two AAA Juice NiMH batteries and an AC power adapter. The unit also features four dual-color (green/red) LEDs, which indicate charging status of each cell.
Juice rechargeable alkalines are best used for low-to-medium drain devices such as handheld PCs, electronic toys/games and PDAs. The rechargeable NiMH cells are best used for high-drain devices such as power tools, notebook computers and digital cameras.
A 4-pack of rechargeable AA or AAA alkaline batteries is $8.49 suggested retail; 4-pack of NiMH AA or AAA cells is $14.99.
Juice is the only rechargeable line to offer NiMH in C and D size batteries. A 2-pack of C is $14.99; a 2-pack of D is $19.99. The Family Charger that handles these cells is $23.99.
The company also claims to be the only maker to offer five complete sizes of lithium-ion batteries. This includes CR123A, CR2, CRV3, 2CR5 and CRP2 cells, which are aimed at both professional digital photographers and hobbyists.
Suggested retails are $9.99 for the CR123A and CR2, $17.99 for the CRP2 and 2CR5 and $19.99 for the CRV3. All are $31.95 with the charger kit, except the CRV3 at $33.95.
Juice is teaming with last year's National Basketball Association rookie of the year Lebron James to merchandise Juice rechargeable batteries in an exclusive e-commerce-based sponsorship with James' official Web site, www.lebronjames.com. The company already has run a TV ad tying in with James. The partnership has a three-year contract.