Within just 6 months, Jacobs Jam has grown by 100% after they signed their breakthrough deal with retailer, Checkers.
Husband and wife duo, Nigel and Christynn Jacobs used their skills – Christynn as a food technologist and Nigel as a marketer and start Jacobs Jam. In 2018, the couple decided to quit their day jobs in the corporate world to make jam.
Based in the biggest fruit-producing town in South Africa, Ceres Valley is where Nigel and Christynn have decided to open shop and employ 12 people from the community, most of which had no prior experience. Jacobs Jam has invested in upskilling locals by providing the necessary training.
The business expanded exponentially as Jacob’s Jam supplied jam to 20 stores within the Western Cape.
While Jacobs Jam is now reaping the rewards, it wasn’t without its challenges.
“While it was freeing for us to finally take that leap of faith, we weren’t prepared for the struggle that followed. We had no income for two years and securing funding was a long, arduous journey,” says Nigel.
Then came Checkers.
Nigel and Christynn wanted to launch their business at scale, and while they were already supplying nearly 400 independent outlets with their jam throughout South Africa, the deal with the Shoprite Group gave them access to the formal retail market.
“The Checkers deal was a massive breakthrough for us because it was the first formal, national retailer that said, ‘We are going to support you’”.
Jacobs Jam offers four flavours: mixed fruit, apricot, strawberry and pomegranate and they are the only pomegranate jam producer in the world.
It came about in a happy accident that Christynn happened upon when she ran out of her usual fruit and decided to use the pomegranate that she had in her kitchen.
Jacobs Jam is also exported to Zambia. Their products contain no preservatives, colourants or flavourants, and can be kept for up to 18 months.
“Getting support from the Shoprite Group has motivated us to think even bigger. We want Jacobs Foods to grow into a national food company and we are constantly learning about the retail business as we grow,” says Nigel.
Jacob’s Jam has plans to expand to include fruit juices, chutney and other fruit-related products.
Feature image: supplied