Jones Soda Adds Kum & Go, Other Retail Chains

New coast-to-coast distribution network facilitates growth

Published in CSP Daily News

SEATTLE -- Jones Soda Co. has announced it has received 2012 retail authorizations from several U.S. chains, including Kum & Go convenience stores and Safeway, Winn-Dixie and Publix supermarkets, and all U.S. military commissaries.

Jones has added several new chains in Canada as well, including Food Land, which further expands Jones' product distribution within the Sobeys chain of stores. Earlier in the year Jones Soda also secured authorizations for Ralphs, Albertsons, Giant Eagle, Cub Foods and ShopRite stores.

Combined with the 2011 account authorizations mentioned above, these new 2012 account authorizations improve Jones Soda's availability by increasing the total number of outlets where the products will soon be sold beginning with the retailer resets which will take place in the first half of 2012. The opportunity to service these chain customers was created by a new distribution network the Jones team has been building for the last 18 months, as well as the brand's sell-through performance in existing retailers.

The new retail authorizations apply to the Jones Soda product portfolio including Jones Pure Cane Soda in glass bottles, the new 16-ounce cans and the zero calorie Jones Zilch soda. Jones Soda's top SKUs are performing well in the grocery channel--many flavors have seen double-digit growth in terms of grocery retail dollar sales, including Cream Soda (20% increase), Green Apple (28% increase), Berry Lemonade (41% increase) and Zilch Black Cherry (41% increase), citing Nielsen data.

"Our plan has been to invest in sales and marketing to aggressively increase the availability of Jones products to both new and existing customers, and these authorizations are a direct result of that," said William Meissner, CEO of Jones Soda. "We are always asked 'where can I find your product?' We believe there is a significant part of the population that we could not reach with Jones Soda products, because our distribution capabilities did not allow us to serve some of these important retail outlets that we now have access to."

The most recent data shows Jones Soda's U.S. grocery distribution, or ACV, has grown 31% compared to a year ago, citing Nielsen. These newly announced grocery accounts provide additional opportunity to drive further increases in distribution for 2012.

"We are pleased that our strategy to focus on growth in our core products through investments in sales and marketing is paying off," said Meissner. "With these new retailer authorizations in place, we remain optimistic that we will see our U.S. grocery channel sales volume and revenue increase."

Based in Seattle, Jones Soda markets and distributes premium beverages under the Jones Soda, Jones Pure Cane Soda and WhoopAss Energy Drink brands and sells through its distribution network in markets primarily across North America. A leader in the premium soda category, Jones is known for its variety of flavors and innovative labeling technique that incorporates frequently changing photos sent in from its consumers. Jones Soda is sold through traditional beverage retailers.

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packaged beverages