27 Dec 2017 | 09.36 am
Ice Idea For Cold Pressed Juices
Limerick startup Wellnice Pops makes ice pops from fruit and veg juice
27 Dec 2017 | 09.36 am
Cold-pressed juices are the millennial soup du jour these days. Limerick startup Wellnice Pops has found a niche route into this ‘better for you’ food category by freezing healthy juices to make ice pops.
The business was founded last year by Brigid Judith (BJ) Broderick and Trín O’Brien. The founders had worked together previously though their career experience is diverse. Trín has worked as a process engineer and project planner in ship-building, while BJ set up a café and a health food business in Kerry. She subsequently closed the café and sold the health food venture.
Wellnice Pops sells ice pops in four unusual flavour combos: beetroot, sweet potato and apple; carrot, orange and ginger; kale, cucumber and apple; and lemon, yellow pepper and pineapple. The business has plenty of stockists nationwide, including multiple SuperValu and Fresh outlets in Dublin.
“All of the pops are low in calories and have vitamins and minerals, but unlike traditional ice pops they don’t have added sugar,” BJ explains. The juice is sourced from Keelings Juices in Dublin, and the two entrepreneurs freeze and pack the ice pops themselves. “We had considered outsourcing but weren’t able to find a suitable partner in Ireland.”
The brand identity for Wellnice Pops was created with the help of Kevin King, who runs Piquant Design in Limerick. “We wanted the design to reflect our brand values – fun, clean and simple,” says Trín. “Most of our customers are women in the 25-34 age bracket. We plan to target other demographics with future ranges, most likely starting with children.”
The ice pops will be available in the UK from March 2018 after Wellnice Pops picked up a distributor there at a trade show. The business is also signed up for Bord Bia/SuperValu’s Food Works programme. Other initiatives that Wellnice is involved in include Facebook’s Irish SME Council and Google’s Adopt a Startup programme.
“Social media has been a huge part of our marketing strategy, particularly with Facebook and Instagram. However, we don’t just rely on online marketing and since the beginning we’ve traded at festivals to build brand awareness,” says BJ.
Ice creams and ice pops are in demand from St Patrick’s Day until October, with 70% of sales between May and August. Multi-pack sales keep the business ticking over in the off-season, as the founders plan for next year. For aspiring food entrepreneurs, BJ advises: “Surround yourself with experienced people, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Photo: Trín O’Brien (left) and Brigid Judith Broderick