Jones Soda to launch GABA drinks this spring


Jones Soda Co. will launch a beverage built around Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a calm- and focus-inducing neutraceutical, this spring, and they’ll be the only beverage firm to offer the ingredient in the near future.

The beverage firm, best known for its quirky soda labels emblazoned with photographs, signaled last year that they were working on a GABA beverage, but Jones Brand Manager Mike Ginal said the company has now finalized the flavors and packaging, and is working on getting it to market.

The beverage will take the form of a tea/juice blend in four flavors: Lemon Honey, Grapefruit, Nectarine and Fuji Apple. The 12 oz. slim-cans will initially be sold only in singles, at a retail price of $2.99 each. Ginal said he expected the product to hit shelves by early April, if not sooner, and said each can will contain between 80 and 90 calories and 150 mg of GABA.

“It’s the highest level we were able to put in here before becoming a supplement,” Ginal said.

Jones’ launch follows a recent trend in functional beverages toward calm, focus or relaxation after a decade of beverage firms one-upping each other with ever more extreme energy claims. Purple Stuff and drank have both released drinks meant to calm the consumer, and Gatorade fortified its “Tiger” line with theanine and rechristened it as as “Gatorade Tiger: Focus.”

If GABA is a hit in this new trend, Jones will have an edge over the competition. Now-departed Jones Spokesman Seth Godwin said in March, 2008 that the company arranged a two-year deal for exclusive access to the neutraceutical in beverages. Ginal said he was not in a position to comment on the specifics of the deal, but said that Jones is currently the only beverage firm to which Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. will sell GABA. Ginal said he believes Mitsubishi to be the only GABA producer in the world.