Jones Soda Co. is a U.S. beverage company based in Seattle, Washington. It bottles and distributes soft drinks, non-carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and candy. Jones Soda is a carbonated soft drink that has many unusual flavors that are not offered by other soft drink makers.
Founded by Peter van Stolk in 1987, Jones Soda Co started off as a beverage distributor in western Canada in the late 1980’s. As the company grew, they gained significant knowledge of the beverage industry and decided to get into the market with alternative beverages as the Urban Juice & Soda Company. In 2000, the company officially changed its name to Jones Soda and moved from its headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington to improve US sales. Jones Products are also sold widely in the Republic Of Ireland and sales are doing very well.
Until 1995, the company was a distributor of other beverage lines such as AriZona Iced Tea and Thomas Kemper sodas in western Canada. The Urban Juice and Soda Company changed its name to Jones Soda Co. on August 1, 2000, most likely hoping to benefit from the fact that over 85% of the total revenues came from the Jones Soda brand.
In November 2006, Jones Soda announced that the company would be transitioning to use pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in its products. On January 22 2007, Jones Pure Cane Soda was launched in 12 ounce cans. This would be unique in the carbonated soft drink category compared to other national brands that are sweetened with corn syrup. By April 2007, all of the company's products switched to cane sugar, except for its energy drinks, which changed that fall. As of March 2007, a 12 ounce bottle of Jones Pure Cane Soda Root Beer lists in its ingredients "inverted cane sugar", also known as inverted sugar syrup, which, like HFCS, is a mixture of fructose and glucose.
To help break into the soft drink marketplace, Jones pursued what it calls an "alternative distribution strategy" to attract consumer attention, selling soft drinks in venues such as clothing and music stores, tattoo and piercing parlors, and sporting equipment shops. Eventually Jones Soda was available nationwide in larger chain stores such as 7-Eleven, Safeway, Albertsons, Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie, and Barnes & Noble. Recent business distribution deals have further expanded the company, placing some basic flavors in stores such as Meijer, World Market, and Panera. On March 17, 2004, it announced a deal to distribute Jones Soda in over 3900 Starbucks locations in the United States, though Starbucks does not supply Jones anymore. On October 12, 2004, Jones Soda introduced 12oz cans for the first time with an exclusive distribution deal with Target, though other stores (including some Kmart and Albertsons locations) now also sell the cans.
Since the original six flavors were introduced, 22 additional flavors have been created:
There has also been a dessert special available, including such flavors as Apple Pie, Blueberry Pie, and many others.
Though they are not labeled sugar-free, four flavors are considered "Mid-Calorie: Twisted Lime, Watermelon, Tangerine, and Blueberry. These flavors are sweetened with Splenda, but still include 21 grams of sugar (compared to approximately 45-50 grams in the regular sodas).
Dave, Black, Purple Carrot, Fu Cran Fu and Betty have since been retired.
In 2007, the lineup was increased to six flavors, the three new flavors being Orange & Cream, Cream Soda, and M.F. Grape. Big Sky Brands announced also a contest to incorporate 24 user-submitted photos of crazy, distorted sour face "cringes" onto new labeling of the "New Jones Soda Candy" line. The prizes included Jones Soda branded apparel and a year supply of the candy. The deadline for the contest was early February, but the new product has yet to hit the general market.
The first special edition Jones was the Jones Hot Wheels Pack, created in July 2003 to honor of the 35th anniversary of Hot Wheels. The pack included a Hot Wheels Jones Soda Orange RV along with four themed bottles and was only available through the Jones Soda website.
In November 2003, Jones introduced a "Turkey & Gravy" seasonal flavor in honor of Thanksgiving. Demand was so overwhelming that Jones sold out within two hours, the bottles (both full and empty) fetching in excess of $10 a piece on auction sites such as eBay.
In 2004, it offered a complete, drinkable Thanksgiving dinner—five bottles—as a box set for $16. Turkey & Gravy was brought back, and the rest of the flavors were unique to this offering: Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry, Mashed Potatoes with Butter, and Fruitcake. The limited edition pack sold out in under an hour, temporarily crashing the company's email and Internet servers. As in 2003, people resold some seasonal bottles on auction sites such as eBay, with bids reaching as high as $100 a pack. Jones Soda's profits in both years were donated to the charity, Toys for Tots.
In 2005, Jones released Halloween Limited Edition 8 oz. can 4-packs, exclusively through Target. The four flavors included two originals (Candy Corn and Caramel Apple), as well as two renamed flavors (Strawberry Slime and Scary Berry Lemonade).
Flavors released at the end of October 2005 in many Target stores (and, eventually, via the Jones Soda website) included, as in 2004, five different varieties. "Turkey & Gravy" and "Cranberry" made a return from 2004, with three new additions: Wild Herb Stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, and Brussels sprout. A list of wines, half-humorously included on a label of the front of the box, offered suggestions which would "match" with said flavors.
A second limited edition collection was also created in 2005, in part to celebrate the Seattle regional aspect of the company. This collection was also made available in other places across the US, including select Speedway, Kroger, and Cost Plus World Market stores. The flavors differed from the first 2005 limited edition and included in addition to Turkey & Gravy; Smoked Salmon Pâté, Corn on the Cob, Broccoli Casserole, and for dessert, Pecan Pie. As in years past, all profits from the Holiday Pack collections went to charities, in this case, St. Jude's Research Hospital and Toys for Tots.
In February 2006, Jones introduced the first Valentines Pack. Each pack contained two bottles of "Love Potion #6" soda, a Love Potion #6 flavored lip balm, a three-track sampler CD, a book of “Love Coupons”, and a coupon for two free bottles of customized myJones. In addition to selling the packs through retailers and their website, Jones partnered with the non-profit organization, Operation AC, to donate 10,000 packs to U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In September 2006, Jones released the 10th Anniversary Pack, which included two “current favorites” (Green Apple and Blue Bubblegum), two “original favorites” (Pineapple Upside Down and Raspberry), along with a Hot Wheels version of a Jones Van. The bottles were printed with special foil detailing and each pack was numbered with only 10,500 ever made, available only by ordering through their website.
The Halloween cans were available again in 2006 with the return of Candy Corn and Berry Alive (formerly Scary Berry Lemonade) and the new Spider Cider and Gruesome Grape (a renamed version of their regular flavor, MF Grape). Along with the cans, Limited Edition bottles were available in three flavors: Monster Mojito, Lemon Drop Dead, and Creepy Cranberry. Unlike previous Limited Edition bottles, these were available in the normal 4-pack carriers rather than special packages. Also in October 2006, Jones released the Berries and Cream Limited Edition pack to raise awareness for the Breast Cancer Recovery Foundation.
The 2006 Holiday Pack introduced some new flavors in addition to the now classic Turkey & Gravy, including Sweet Potato, Dinner Roll, Pea, and Antacid (which included a disclaimer stating it had no medicinal qualities). The second 2006 pack was dubbed the Dessert Pack and included Cherry Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, and Blueberry Pie. Proceeds once again went to St. Jude’s and Toys for Tots. Three additional flavors (Egg Nog, Sugar Plum, and Candy Cane) were also created in 4-packs similar to the special Halloween bottles.
In 2007 Jones Soda again sold the Valentines Pack, including the two bottles of Love Potion #6, a pair of Jones-branded boxer shorts, a box of Necco Conversation hearts, and a "Spin the Bottle" board printed on the back of the box.
In preparation for the Seattle Seahawks' 2007 season, Jones offered a limited-edition Seahawks pack starting on September 27. The collectors' pack included sodas flavored in Perspiration, Sports Cream, Natural Field Turf, Dirt, and Sweet Victory. In the Pacific Northwest, Jones labeled their regular sodas with Seahawks-themed pictures during the 2007 football season.
The Halloween edition mini-cans returned in October, featuring new flavor Sour Lemon Drop Dead, along with returning flavors Candy Corn, Strawberry S'lime, and Gruesome Grape. Three Target-exclusive flavors were also released: new flavors Black Cat Licorice (Black Licorice) and Dread Licorice (Red Licorice), along with returning flavor Monster Mojito.
Around Thanksgiving, Jones again released three flavors for the Holidays, exclusively at Target stores. Christmas Cocoa, Candy Cane, and Gingerbread each came in a 4-bottle carry pack. Additionally, the Dessert Pack was rereleased with new flavor Lemon Meringue Pie, plus returning flavors Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, and Blueberry Pie.
In place of their annual Thanksgiving pack, Jones released two new holiday-themed sets. The 2007 Jones Holiday Packs offered choices for both Christmas and Chanukah. The 2007 Christmas Pack included new flavors Christmas Ham and Christmas Tree, along with returning flavors Egg Nog and Sugar Plum, with proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots. The 2007 Happy Chanukah Pack was a four-bottle set of Latke, Applesauce, Chocolate Coins, and Jelly Doughnut sodas, and included "1 completely functional dreidel;" proceeds from Chanukah Pack sales benefited Vitamin Angels. Both holiday packs contained no caffeine. All sodas, including the ham-flavored soda, were certified kosher.
For the first time, Jones released three new flavors in celebration of Easter: Robin's Egg Lemonade, Chocolate Bunny, and Little Bunny Fufu. A portion of the proceeds benefited Vitamin Angels.
In April, Jones Soda ran a contest called 10,000th label contest. Where fans would vote for their favorite photo of the Top 20 that Jones Soda picked. The winner would have the honor of their photo being on a special edition bottle. With over 5,000 votes cast, this is Jones Soda's most popular contest so far.
The website sometimes asks for specific themes for photo uploads like the Patriot Photos or the Landmark Contest in order to create a special collection of labels. Recently, they have created a Signature series which includes photos and written signatures of Jones Soda Pro Athletes.
Above the picture on the label, the word "my" is added before "Jones Soda Co." to indicate it was customized and not bought at retail. In addition, the barcode is labeled "Not for Resale".
Jones also employs two Jones Soda RVs which travel the West and East coasts of North America "handing out soda and talking to the people on the street.
On May 23, 2007, the Seattle Seahawks chose Jones Soda as their official soft drink. Starting in the 2007 season, Qwest Field has exclusively sold Jones Soda drinks at its concession stands. Jones Soda was also made available in bottles depicting Seahawks players both at football games and in supermarkets. The Seahawks used to sell soft drinks from The Coca-Cola Company; the Jones Soda deal makes the team the first in the NFL to sign an exclusive deal with a soft drink company other than Coca-Cola or Pepsi.
The company's motto, "Run with the little guy… create some change.", appears on most Jones products.
JONES SODA PULLS OFF A SEAHAWKS UPSET SCRAPPY SEATTLE FIRM BEATS OUT COKE FOR SOFT-DRINK RIGHTS AT QWEST FIELD.(News)
May 24, 2007; Byline: CRAIG HARRIS P-I reporter Say goodbye to a Coke and a smile at Seahawks games. And say hello to a Jones Soda and a player...