Flavor of the Day

A beverage company well-known for its strong marketing concepts and unusual flavors is looking to expand its presence onto other grocery aisles.

Jones Soda Co. perhaps is remembered best for its unique flavors of soda. While it has a fairly standard set of flavors, including cream soda, root beer and cola, Jones has garnered major media coverage of its seasonal varieties green bean casserole, fruitcake, cranberry, and mashed potato and butter.

Now, the company has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Big Sky Brands Inc. to create a line of candy. Jones Soda Flavor Boosters will be found in metal tins with three flavors: green apple, fufu berry and berry lemonade. Similar to the personalized bottles that are a hallmark of the company's beverages, under each candy lid will be quotes submitted by consumers.

Interestingly, while the candy will be on confectionery aisles, Jones recommends adding the “flavor boosters” to a bottle of water to “give it an intense Jones flavor.”


The popularity of vitamin-enhanced waters is definitely at high tide. A search of Mintel International's Global New Products Database shows 50 enhanced or functional waters hit the U.S. market through November of 2005, on top of 36 such products introduced in 2004.

Major players Coca-Cola, PepsiCo (through its Gatorade brand) and Nestle all have entered the fray. Gatorade's Propel Fitness Water, in fact, has added a calcium-enriched version--Propel Calcium, which offers nearly the same amount of calcium as an 8oz glass of milk.

BooKoo Beverages Inc. also is adding enhanced water to its line of energy beverages. The nutrient-enhanced “water beverages” are in four flavors: Rebound, MMMMulti, BooKoo C and Inner G.

Double A Beverage is more gender-specific with its newest enhanced water. W20 Uniquely Designed Water for Women has been enriched with folic acid and 14 vitamins and minerals.

Give a Rip

Similar to the Jones Soda Flavor Booster, National Beverage Corp. also is joining a growing contingent of products designed to be added to a bottle of water or other beverage, as in the case of Rip It.

National Beverage has a line of what it terms energy fuel--essentially energy beverages. However, “to commemorate its 20th anniversary,” the company is introducing Rip It Power Energy Fuel and PowerBlast powders. The former promises the “same potent energy burst offered by National Beverage's” Rip It.

The latter provides a “blast” of energy, as well as a vitamin boost. PowerBlast includes vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and botanicals, to appeal to active adults aged 24-44. Rip It powders, however, are attempting to skew slightly younger, to men aged 18-24 looking for a quick energy burst.

Giant Giveaway

In the wake of research finding Americans consume less than half the recommended amount of vegetables every day, General Mills is bringing back an icon and making its first foray into sampling.

The efforts are part of a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign centered on the Green Giant line of frozen vegetables. The 80-year-old Jolly Green Giant is coming out of semi-retirement for the campaign, known as For the Love of Vegetables, and aims to promote the line's low-fat sauces and seasonings.

The campaign is the brand's first major advertising initiative in more than 10 years and will see the Green Giant touring the Northeast (okay, five markets there) to sample broccoli and cheese sauce, corn niblets and butter sauces, seasoned garden vegetable medley, and vegetables and Tuscan herb sauce. It is the first time Green Giant has used sampling to market its products.

A recent Green Giant survey found consumers consume an average of 2.4 servings of vegetables a day, well below the USDA-recommended five servings.