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Product of the Year 2019 winners

Despite a challenging economic environment, certain brands continued to innovate in the local market over the past twelve months and were deservedly recognised for their dynamism at the prestigious annual Product of the Year awards ceremony.  

“It was a tough year for brands, particularly those in the retail sector,” affirms Preetesh Sewraj, CEO and chief innovation analyst at Product of the Year South Africa. “The year started with a sense of optimism as South Africa enjoyed a large fuel cut and political confidence was on the rise. This confidence started to slowly be reflected in consumer spending patterns, which excited the market.”

TymeBank offers customers a full-service bank account for less than half the cost of the nearest equivalent product from any of the traditional banks.

“We continue to broaden the scope of our third-party endorsement programme to celebrate and reward brand innovation and boost awareness. This platform, therefore, guides consumers, helping them to find the best new products and services that can positively impact on their lifestyles and their pockets by delivering greater value for money,” concludes Sewraj.

The full list of category winners is:

Category   Winner

Quick meals  Ready To Chef Meal Kits
Fresh foods  County Fair Fresh Chicken Modified Atmosphere Packaging
Home care  Jewel Home Cleaning Range
Healthcare  Betadine

Air care  Lampellent Diffuser

Baby care  Bennetts Baby Bum Crème
Food packaging Glad Zip Seal Resealable Bags
Braai  Danie's Worcester Sauce Sprinkle
Feminine protection  Betadine Daily Intimate Care Range
Peri peri  Calisto's Peri Peri Tall Sauce

Snacks  Tambala Flavoured Cashews

Services  Dialdirect Insurance Payback
Health foods  Oh My Goodness range of products
Hardware  Edelweiss Super Glue
Smartphones  Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Seasoning  Marina Lighthouse Salt & Pepper #BetterTogether

Sasfin powers Hello Paisa to make banking possible for everyday people

Sasfin, in collaboration with Hello Paisa, has launched a new banking initiative that is set to revolutionise the South African banking experience. Last year, Sasfin announced its ambition to deliver new products and services through either partnering with, acquiring or developing tech solutions that offer valuable services to customers. This is a significant step in Sasfin’s journey to serve new markets through collaborating with this tech-centred and customer-centric focused business. As part of the Hello Group, Hello Paisa was the first company to be authorised as an independent money transfer operator in South Africa.

Supported by Sasfin’s banking platforms and infrastructure, Hello Paisa’s digital banking offering comprises an adaptable ecosystem of services, including an intuitive mobile app, mobile sim card, bank account and a Visa debit card that operates at any ATM or POS device. Based on their ecosystem, Hello endeavours to bundle its offering to suit South Africans' needs. The account can be opened in minutes and is driven by game-changing, smart technology.

According to Ahmed Cassim, the managing director of Hello Paisa, creating personalised solutions to serve the unbanked is a fundamental mandate of this initiative. “We serve hundreds of thousands of customers who are underserved, whom traditional banking players cannot reach. Providing them with access to the banking world will make a huge difference to them in growing their businesses and creating more jobs,” he says.

SA’s first digital bank goes live in 500 Pick n Pay, Boxer Stores

This follows a successful soft launch in December when the bank went live in 20 Pick n Pay and Boxer stores. More than 50 000 customers have already opened a TymeBank account since then. TymeBank offers customers a full-service bank account for less than half the cost of the nearest equivalent product from any of the traditional banks.

Some of the unique features of the TymeBank account include:

  • Open a bank account and be issued with a personalised debit card in under five minutes, with no paperwork required.
  • TymeBank kiosks in Pick n Pay and Boxer stores are equipped with highly secure technology using real-time biometric recognition. This means a customer doesn’t need an ID document or any other paperwork to open an account. It takes under five minutes and they will immediately be issued with a personalised, activated Visa debit card that can be used at any Visa merchant in the country.
  • No monthly fees. The lowest cost bank account in the market by far. There are no monthly fees, no account initiation fee, no card issuing fee and no fees for the use of the card for payment. Cash withdrawals at Pick n Pay and Boxer till points are free, it costs R8 at any ATM and R2 at other major retailers, and the card can be used at any Visa merchant. Cash deposits at Pick n Pay and Boxer stores are R4.
  • Great interest on savings. TymeBank’s EveryDay transactional account comes with a unique and flexible savings tool called GoalSave. It allows customers to earn up to 10% interest per annum on their savings after just three months, with no fees, restrictions or penalties.
  • For the first time, customers can earn Smart Shopper points everywhere they shop. TymeBank and Pick n Pay have extended the Smart Shopper loyalty program to all TymeBank customers. A TymeBank customer will be able to earn Smart Shopper points anywhere when they use their TymeBank card to make a purchase. This is a first for Smart Shopper customers. Customers can also earn double Smart Shopper points when they use their TymeBank Visa debit card to swipe and pay at any Pick n Pay till.

Shoprite allows Skyrule to thrive

Sammy Mhaule got his first taste of entrepreneurship as a 14-year-old when he sold ice cream on the streets of Tembisa. Today he supplies sparkling juice to Checkers Hyper in Gauteng and Checkers in the Free State, but the journey from ice cream peddler to business owner hasn't always been smooth sailing.

“The members of my family are not wired like me and they did not understand why I was willing to risk so much to run my own business,” says the 39-year-old, who has formal qualifications as a mechanical engineer and marketer.

The idea for his products came from an opportunity to capitalise on South Africa hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup by supplying non-sparkling juice to hotels. “After the World Cup I got requests for my juice to be more readily available on retail shelves. My challenge was to not introduce yet another fruit juice. I wanted a product with character, which would stand out from everything else on the shelves.”

His lightbulb moment came one day as he was walking down a drinks aisle and realised there weren’t many sparkling juices in which at least two flavours were blended. He incubated this idea for 18 months, a period during which he also enrolled in a supplier development programme. “I knew I needed support to develop myself to ensure Skyrule Drinks thrived.”

In 2017 he was approached by Celia Theron, a former divisional buyer for the Shoprite Group, who had heard of his product and took a keen interest in it. In the same year Theron joined Skyrule Drinks as its national key account manager.

Within a year of that initial contact his drinks were available in Checkers Hyper stores in Gauteng. They are also available in Checkers stores in the Free State and Skyrule now has its sights set on supplying the Eastern Cape in the near future.

Skyrule Drinks is based in Kempton Park. It was important for Mhaule to locate his business close to the community that nurtured him and today he employs ten people from the area. He describes the last year as tough, but very rewarding: Skyrule Drinks was among the top 20 at the 2018 South African Small Business Awards.

In 10 years’ time, Mhaule hopes to own three manufacturing plants in three provinces. “I also want Skyrule Twyst to ultimately be the beverage of choice for every customer that walks into a Checkers or Shoprite store,” he concludes.