Jones Soda has carved out a niche in the artisan-soft drink market with fun flavors made with real pure cane sugar, ever-changing labels featuring consumer-submitted photos, and a willingness to push the envelope in every reasonable way.
Now the Portland-based brand is taking the next step by partnering with 7-Eleven to create the first premium-soda line to become a private-label brand at a convenience store chain. It makes sense: Millennials are the biggest convenience store demographic, and they’re the ones making craft sodas popular even as they turn their noses up at mainstream soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi.
The new 7-Select line will include distinct flavors in the Jones tradition, such as Fruit Loose, Twisted Citrus and Cocolocolilinut. They will be made with natural flavors lightly sweetened with cane sugar, and range from just 180 to 195 calories per 20-ounce bottle. Also interestingly, and in line with twenty-something tastes, 7-Select will include 75 mg of caffeine in each serving.
And that’s not all. The companies said the 7-Select premium sodas will be packaged in a proprietary plastic bottle that features an embossed 7-Select logo and a custom carbonation pattern that provides “a unique tactile experience for consumers,” and includes “lifestyle images” submitted by 7-Eleven and Jones consumers.
“Jones was the perfect partner to create a premium soft drink unique enough to carry both the 7-Select and Jones brands,” said Sean Thompson, vice president of private brands for 7-Eleven. The chain has been expanding the 7-Select brand across a range of product categories.
Jennifer Cue, CEO of Jones, said that the company used customer input to develop the sodas. “We believe,” she said, “we have created an ideal product for the 7-Eleven customers of today and tomorrow.”