SEATTLE, WA – June 27, 2007 – Jones Soda Co. (the “Company” or “Jones Soda”), today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Pharma Foods International Co., LTD., of Kyoto, Japan; Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), of Tokyo, Japan; and Mitsubishi International Food Ingredients, Inc. (MIFI), of Dublin, Ohio that grants the company exclusive rights to use PHARMA GABATM in beverage applications.
PHARMA GABATM is a naturally produced form of the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a key neurotransmitter in the human brain that exerts a number of anti-stress effects among other benefits. An extremely popular food ingredient in Japan, PHARMA GABATM recently achieved GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in the United States. According to Peter van Stolk, President and CEO, of Jones Soda, “Securing the rights to PHARMA GABATM is the key step in our development of an entirely new type of Jones energy beverage.” Rather than produce a stimulant effect like caffeine-containing energy beverages, PHARMA GABATM is valued for its ability to promote mental focus. The current energy beverage category is estimated to be over $6 billion in sales annually and is expected to exceed $10 billion by 2010.
In Japan, the most popular applications of PHARMA GABATM include use in coffee as it is particularly helpful in counteracting the negative effects of caffeine, as well as chocolate, sports beverages, water, energy beverages and candy. Noriko Iwaki, Executive Managing Director of Pharma Foods, expressed that, “Jones Soda is the perfect partner to introduce this new and exciting beverage concept to North America.” With a history of bold innovation and marketing, Jones Soda will be assisted in the development of the new energy beverage by Dr. Michael T. Murray, one of the world’s leading authorities on natural food products. An author of over 30 books on health and nutrition, Dr. Murray has played a major role in building the nearly $20 billion a year natural food and supplement industry as he has been instrumental in bringing many natural and effective food products to prominence in North America including glucosamine sulfate and Ginkgo biloba extract. According to Dr. Murray, “PHARMA GABATM is poised to become a major dietary supplement and food ingredient in the North America because it produces such noticeable effects.”
Peter van Stolk adds, “We are extremely excited to be working with Dr. Murray, Pharma Foods, and MC/MIFI in developing a truly unique beverage that can help give people what they really want – a natural energy product without the adverse effects of caffeine. At the same time, we are creating new growth vehicles for the future as we look to capture additional market share and return increased value to our shareholders.”
The new product line is expected to be available at select retail locations by winter 2007.
About Jones Soda Co.
Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Jones Soda Co., sells its Jones Soda products through its distribution network in select markets across North America. A leader in the premium soda category, Jones is known for its innovative labeling technique that incorporates always-changing photos sent in from its consumers. Jones Soda is sold through traditional beverage retailers and everywhere you’d never expect to find a soda.