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March 2017 – Huddle.com

How New Brunswick’s Prelam Enterprises Freshened Up the Air Freshener Market

Moncton’s Prelam Enterprises is leading in the business of making sure your poo doesn’t stink.

The company is the maker of Just ‘a Drop, the product that founders Luc Jalbert and Don Goguen claim was the first ever to prevent odour before you, you know, go “number two.”

“Everybody kept asking ‘how much do you put in the [toilet] bowl?’ says Jalbert.  “And we kept saying ‘just a drop, that’s all you need.’ That’s how the name came about.”

Officially launched in 2005 at Walmart Canada, Just ‘a Drop had to compete with air freshening heavyweights like SC Johnson and Proctor & Gamble. But Jalbert says Just ‘a Drop was the only product on shelves at the time that offered a more … preventable neutralizing liquid solution to foul bathroom odours.

“We were the only one until a few years ago when people started copying us. So for us, it was pretty easy initially to compete against them because they didn’t have a competing product,” Jalbert says. “Then some copy-cats started to show up and that’s normal in business. We had to educate consumers, so we put in a lot of money in Canada to advertise on TV [and] educate our consumers about Just ‘a Drop and its benefits, why you use it before you go and why it really works.”

Though Prelam Enterprises put a lot of work into promoting the product nationally through advertising, Jalbert says their customers are their biggest ambassadors and are the company’s number one way of advertising.

“It makes people giggle because we’re talking about ‘number twos’, so it’s not sexy to talk about, but it’s funny … People make jokes all the time,” he says. “That’s what people seem to like. They like the fact that it works and you don’t have to be embarrassed.”

The giggle factor and the fact that it’s allowing people to openly discuss the taboo topic of bowel movements were what got Just ‘a Drop some big media attention. The product has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Howard Stern Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and CBC’s Venture.

It also got attention from competitors. Last year, Reckitt Benckiser, makers of Air Wick, approached Prelam to license its formula to use in some of their products.

“Air Wick approached us to license and make us produce for them under Just ‘a Spray, a new derivative of Just ‘a Drop,’ Jalbert says. “They are water-based formulas so we produce over a million bottles for Air Wick. So ironically, a competition approached to produce for them.”

Jalbert says being approached by Air Wick showed they created something that was making a splash.

“It was a big deal. It validated that we were an innovator in a category. We were the pioneers in that space, the bathroom,” he says. “We’re not an air freshener, we’re solely focused on your ‘number two’ situation and identified that to the point where they’ve launched in eight countries already … It’s validating that we were on the right track all along and that we were innovative.”

Prelam now has several “Just ‘a” products lines. Jalbert says in the next three months Just ‘a Drop and Just ‘a Spray will be released for retail in the United States. It’s already in stores in Mexico and Chile. There are plans this spring and summer to expand in the European and Chinese markets as well.

“Just A’ Drop is going to maintain itself. It’s like a bottle of ketchup, everybody needs it when they run out. So we’re going to keep going to market,” Jalbert says. “We’re just going to keep growing markets and expanding our territories.”

Moncton Prelam Enterprises

October 2006 – Telegraph Journal

Local businesses always boast something new

Metro Moncton’s reputation as an important business sector continues to grow and is fueled by the ongoing efforts of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce, an independant business organisation which champions growth as a commitment to both its members and the community.
There is no clearer evidence of that commitment than the eight categoris it offers in GMCC’s annual Greater Moncton Excellence awards.

Read More

March 2005: L’alimentation Magazine

Perfume the taboos

Extract from “ Le grand ménage : entre les fleurs et les germes »- Denyse Perrault- L’alimentation

Fortunately for our nostrils and for the ego of inconvenienced people, the market is full of products that help us overcoming this issue, at least when there is a real bathroom. Among those discoveries, we see Prelam’s odour neutraliser Just’a Drop. This small company based in Moncton New Brunswick, offers a non-toxic, biodegradable and safe for septics product. Portable, it comes in a small plastic bottle which contains 15 ml of an almost miraculous solution with a travel case. One drop of Just’a Drop in the toilet bowl prior to use eliminates foul odours while leaving a light and fresh scent.

“We believe this product will revolutionize the way people use their bathroom, says Luc Jalbert, Prelam co-owner and vice-president. It will particularly improve the life of people who have to wear a stoma bag, those who have Crohn’s disease or other ailments. This product was introduced to the Atlantic market last September. Since then, I met people claiming before Just’a Drop, they did not dare to get out. Now they feel free to go wherever they want. Until now, consumers had to purchase costly sprays to eliminate odours. I think we are the first in North America to offer this kind of product that we discovered in South-East Asia. There is a lot of Asian who don’t appreciate foul odours, just like us. We adapted the formula using plant extracts, a little bit of disinfectant and perfume, nothing harsh. In addition, this water treatment fights germs.”

Specialised in air care, Prelam’s owners chose China to produce their product line to keep their competition with big companies. They also bet on innovation to entice the category. Prelam’s Aromatherapy product line contains a liquid air freshener with deodoriser in a fancy bottle which the
look reminds more of an ornament than a convenient basic spray. The available fragrances are Green Apple, Orange and Lavender, made from a mix of natural essential oils. Aromatherapy incense stick line has four scents: Lavender burst, Tranquility, Forest Mist and seashore. The packaging looks like a jewel case and contains twelve incense sticks and a holder. Each stick burns for 25 minutes.

For cars, the company suggests its new Cutie Fresh, a Pink Lavender, French Vanilla or Fresh Air fragrances dispenser in the form of a teddy bear. In 2005, they will launch Funky Monkey with the same scents as Cutie Fresh. With a new addition to the line, Sachet will be available in a pack of two or six, with the same scents. They can be used anywhere around the house, even in the garbage or closets. They will also introduce the decorative air freshener Flower scent, which contains refillable crystals scents.

The air purification in the vehicle’s fans was not forgotten. Prelam introduce two air fresheners which can be hooked on the fan to eliminate embarrassing odours like vomit, cat urine or tobacco. Eclypse the odour neutraliser contains scented oil which last two months. In the stores, you can find Mountain Fresh, French Vanilla, Fresh Air as well as anti-tobacco, Fresh Oranges and Lavender. Three scents are available for Aerofresh SX which diffuses a scented oil of Tropical Fresh, French Vanilla and AntiTobacco.

Prelam is in the fourth place in a very competitive market.

December 2004 – Atlantic Business

The Sweet Smell of Success
Two entrepreneurs in Moncton, NB, have literally taken the time to smell the roses and are now parlaying the moment into a multi-million dollar business going head-to-head against the likes of S.C. Johnson and Proctor & Gamble. Luc Jalbert and Don Goguen, owners of Prelam Enterprises Inc., are in the air freshener business and after just 18 months they have become the Atlantic David to a group of international Goliaths.

With brokers in the Maritimes, Québec, Ontario and Western Canada and warehouse facilities in Moncton and Branford, Ontario, the Jalbert-Goguen team continues to expand its growing line of national retailers to include Wal-Mart, Zellers, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Home Hardware, Petro-Canada, IGA, Uniprix, UniSelect and Shoppers. They also continue to push for prime retail space, inching alongside the big guys for optimum customer reach.

Business hasnʼt always smelled so sweet. In the early days, Jalbert and Goguen learned that introducing new, innovative products to an uninformed marketplace is a hard way to make money. “If there was one thing we learned from the though times,” says Luc Jalbert, “it was that, in order to be successful, Prelam had to have products that consumers could identify with and want… over and over again.”

Their fortunes changed after a trip to Hong Kong almost two years ago. Happening upon an innovative car air freshener, the partners brought the product into Canada and test marketed it at retail operations like Irving gas bars, Jean Coutu and Shoppers. The air freshener was an immediate hit and today, Prelam is Canadaʼs premier air freshener company – rising to number four in sales amidst competitive superstars like S.C. Johnson.

December 2004 – Telegraph Journal

Prelam getting whiff of success
Moncton company hopes toilet freshener will be the next big thing among its air-care products. Moncton – Two Moncton entrepreneurs hope to make a big splash dealing with a subject thatʼs generally taboo. Luc Jalbert and Don Goguen, owners of Prelam Enterprises Ltd., expect their ʻJustʼa Dropʻ product will “which the way people go to the bathroom” by eliminating unpleasant smells.
The new product line, which involves squirting a drop of the pleasantly-scented solution in the toilet bowl prior to use, eliminates both odors and the need for other air fresheners, bathroom fans or even the humble match.

“Itʼs an embarrassing situation for everybody,” Mr. Jalbert explains during an interview at his firmʼs west-end office where the companyʼs five employees work. “It has a neutralizer that actually kills everything while youʼre going about things. This saves the embarrassment.”
Prelam, which competes against international heavy-weights like S.C. Johnson and Procter & Gamble in the air freshener business, will unveil its new product line at the large-scale Grocery Innovation trade show in Toronto on Monday.

“Itʼs fully biodegradable, safe for your septic tank and non-toxic,” Mr. Jalbert says, noting the product, which he first came across during one of his frequent business trips to China, uses plant extracts.

Wal-Mart has also already signed on to begin carrying the product early next year and the pair hopes to entice other stores across the country to begin carrying the product.

Contunue…Mr. Goguen points out that the small bottle also comes with a travel case, meaning you can bring it anywhere from sports events and house parties to business meetings and the office.

The two men started developing, importing and selling air-care products after a tumultuous couple of years when it seemed every product Prelam had was impossible to get to market without an exorbitant and unaffordable price-tag.

“But if there was one thing we learned from the tough times, it was that in order to be successful Prelam had to have products that consumers could identify with and want over and over again,” Mr. Jalbert says.

The latest product is made in China, but Mr. Jalbert says he makes sure the factories treat workers well. Things really got going for Prelam which was incorporated in 1999 and until this week also did lamination work, about two years ago. During a market trip to Hong Kong, Mr. Jalbert happened upon an innovative car air freshener and realized he might be on to something big.

He brought in a supply to Canada and test marketed it with retail operations like Irving gas bars, Jean Coutu and Shoppers Drug Mart. Mr. Jalbert says the air fresheners proved to be an immediate hit and now the company is Canadaʼs premier air freshener company rising to number four in sales in a very competitive sector.

Prelam now has brokers throughout Canada and warehouse facilities in Moncton and Brampton, Ontario.

“The big guys have 3,000 people working for them in research and development, weʼre just two guys,” Mr.Jalbert says. “our goal is to become very strong in Canada and then penetrate the U.S. market.”

November 2004

November: Excerpt from “Balancing Act” (Canadian Grocer Magazine)

“Take air care products, for example. The niche has now become a battleground for Fortune 500 companies such as SC Johnson, along with plucky newcomers such as Prelam Enterprises Ltd., a Moncton, NB. Company that develops and markets scented products for cars and homes. Prelam marketing manager Luc Jalbert explains: “The air care business is worth $130 million a year in Canada and grocery stores do 40% of it.” At SC Johnson’s Toronto office, product manager Tara St. John notes that women buy 89% of the products and that scents come and go at the rate of 25 a year. Battles are being fought for the loyalty of the noses of the nation. Grocers are trophies in this market that, Jalbert says, is growing at 12% to 15% a year, driven by a desire for comfort. Soon Prelam will launch a product that Jalbert says, will revolutionize Canadians’ bathroom habits.”
*Excerpt taken from Canadian Grocer Magazine – November 2004