Beverages

Jones Soda Expansion Includes C-Stores

Also, company terminates letter of intent with Simply Better Brands
Jones and ICEE
Photograph courtesy of Jones Soda Co.

SEATTLE — Craft soda company Jones Soda, known for its unconventional flavors and user-submitted photo labels, recently announced new distribution agreements that expand the company’s retail footprint beyond conventional grocery channels and into convenience stores and elsewhere.

The new agreements mark the latest achievements in executing a strategic plan that has helped Jones Soda deliver seven consecutive quarters of growth for its core bottled soda business, the company said.

The expansion focuses on alternative channels such as c-stores, specialty retail and variety stores.

The new distribution agreements include:

  • Town Pump, a chain of petroleum, travel plazas, convenience stores, gas stations, casinos, hotels, propane and car washes in Montana and Idaho.
  • PITCO Foods, a California-based wholesale cash and carry, distribution and members-only warehouse company serving 12,000 independent convenience, grocery and liquor stores and foodservice operators.
  • TJ Maxx/Marshalls/HomeGoods, with about 70% of the chain’s 2,800 locations now offering Jones Soda 4-packs in several flavors.
  • Dollar Tree, with more than 15,000 stores, which is now carrying 12/12-ounce Jones Soda single bottles in four flavors.
  • World Market, the 242-store specialty/import retail business that will feature Jones Soda 4-packs in four flavors plus a special summer release.
  • McLendon Hardware, a chain of home improvement stores in Washington State.

“Our core bottled soda business remains our key growth driver, and we made a strategic decision last year to continue to build that business as well as brand awareness by seeking distribution in alternative channels,” said Eric Chastain, president of the Jones Soda Beverage Division. “These new agreements validate that strategy and also demonstrate the versatility of the Jones brand. We’re not just an everyday craft soda but also a fun shopping and tasting experience. We stand out on the shelf, and that’s why we’re succeeding in this initiative.”

Merger Termination

In related news, Jones Soda and Simply Better Brands Corp. (SBBC) recently terminated a previously announced letter of intent due to current market conditions. In April, the companies announced a possible “arm’s length business combination.

The craft soda company recently added cannabis-derived food and beverages to its product lineup.

“We are disappointed that due to current market conditions we are unable to move forward with our intended transaction at this time,” said Kathy Casey, CEO of Vancouver-based Simply Better Brands, a plant-based wellness, food and beverage and health and beauty company. “The Jones Soda brand is one we felt confident would add tremendous value to our existing platform and ultimately be accretive to shareholder value. We wish Jones management and their board much success in their future.”

Mark Murray, CEO of Jones Soda, said, “Due to the decline in current market conditions, we regrettably are unable to continue with the proposed transaction with SBBC. We are certain that Simple Better Brands and Jones will continue to find successful business opportunities in the future, despite this shift in direction for both companies.”

Jones Soda, Seattle, markets and distributes premium beverages under the Jones Soda and Lemoncocco brands.

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