IN September 2016 the innovative and unique Pierre Jourdan Popsicles hit retail shelves in South Africa, and took the market by storm, achieving over R1 million in sales in just four months.
These never-been-done-before in South Africa wine popsicles, which were created and developed by JML Consulting, were initially launched in 26 Pick n Pay stores and by the end of December were available in 38 stores across Gauteng, KZN, Limpopo and the Western Cape.
Natasha Alomia, Director of JML Consulting explains that the Pierre Jourdan Wine Popsicles, or PJ Pops as they are called, took 13 months of planning, conceptualising and hard work to develop. With the end result being the birth of a brand new, and extremely successful product category in South Africa.
“Launching a new brand in what would be considered a luxury item category was not something we did lightly, given the current tight economic times,” says Alomia. “An extensive amount of research went into the PJ Pops – not to mention sleepless nights – as we honed the design, production and ultimately the end product into something which we are very pleased to report has garnered the South African public’s full support. Evident in the phenomenal sales figures achieved in such a short time. The success of PJ Pops is also attributable to partnering with the acclaimed Franschhoek Haute Cabrière, the home of Pierre Jourdan, and national retailer Pick n Pay who both shared our innovative vision.”
Riaan van Niekerk, Managing Director of Clos Cabriere, recalls taking the introduction call from JML Consulting: “They were surprised to learn I was familiar with the concept, on the other hand I was thrilled by the idea of a company completely unconnected sharing similar thoughts. We swiftly scheduled a meeting to work out the detail and secretly, at least from my side, evaluating each other’s sense of purpose and belief system. If anything, the success of PJ Pops is built on the universal basics of a partnership – common sense, a common purpose, and strong ethics.”
“They say that you’re one decision away from an entirely different life and the decision to create this product is certainly testament to that. The response to the Pierre Jourdan Popsicles can only be described as overwhelming, and as a small entrepreneurial firm we have learnt more than we ever thought possible during this process,” says Alomia.
With anything new where there is no playbook to follow, the only way you learn sometimes is the hard way and Alomia says that they did experience their fair share of challenges and occasional set-backs during the development and launch of PJ Pops, however six months post-launch and JML Consulting say that they see huge ongoing potential in the market for these wine popsicles, and the company are currently developing three new flavours for release this year. They are also in negotiations with other retailers, both in South Africa and internationally, to stock the wine popsicles.
Jon-Marc De Carvalho, co-Director of JML Consulting says that another popsicle product that JML Consulting are in the process of creating for launch later in the year will not only be a South African first, but a world first in this newly developed market category. “We hope to be top of mind when it comes to creating premium alcoholic, and eventually non–alcoholic popsicles.”
“Through developing these new products JML has learnt so much that we are able to share with other emerging brands and entrepreneurs. It can be a very lonely road when you’re breaking new ground, irrespective of what industry you’re in, and we’d welcome the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who are starting out on a similar journey and to engage in some knowledge sharing,” concludes De Carvalho.