Jones Soda Co., the original craft soda known for its unconventional flavors and user-designed label artwork, has secured distribution for its new Special Release series of limited-edition flavors at more than 1,800 Kroger stores across the country.
The agreement highlights the appeal of the Special Release program, which can help retailers drive sales by offering a rotating series of unique soda flavors that can generate demand in a manner similar to seasonal craft beers.
The program has just launched with Birthday Cake Soda and Pineapple Cream Soda, two fan favorites from Jones Soda’s archives. Special Release SKUs will change every six months with revivals of other popular products not in the company’s current lineup, as well as with new one-of-a-kind flavors that fit Jones Soda’s brand personality.
Kroger committed to the program because of its support for product innovation as well as its longtime successful relationship with the Seattle, Washington-based beverage company. Over the past year alone, sales of the company’s products across the Kroger system have grown significantly and outpaced the overall craft soda category.
“Kroger’s decision to carry our Special Release series is a strong validation of our strategy of adding limited-edition flavors to our standard lineup,” said Mark Murray, president and CEO of Jones Soda. “With the allure of limited-time-only products as well as the pipeline of innovation we are creating by using this program to test new flavors, we are creating a new revenue stream that will help us continue on our current growth trajectory.”
The Special Release program is one of two Jones Soda line extensions announced earlier this year to advance a strategic growth plan that has delivered three consecutive quarters of increased revenues and profitability. The company also introduced its first mass-market variety 12-packs, including a Fan Faves Variety Pack bundling Jones’ top-selling Cream Soda, Berry Lemonade, Orange Cream and Green Apple flavors, and a Mixer Variety Pack containing Jones Cola, Lemon Lime and Ginger Beer targeting craft cocktail and at-home DIY trends. Both packs are expected to increase company penetration in the mass market and club channels.