From its appearance as a finalist in BevNET Live’s New Beverage Showdown 5, to being named the top cold beverage at the 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show, to a recent spotlight in USA Today, Jin+Ja has enjoyed a significant amount of attention and positive exposure in recent months. While it’s still early for the line of ginger-based drinks, founder Ruben Canada believes that Jin+Ja has and will continue to benefit from a solid footing in formulation, packaging and branding.
“I think a big part of [our success] is making sure that we nailed it as far as making sure that we had a good foundation for the brand,” Canada said in an interview at the 2013 Natural Products Expo East show.
A former patent attorney, Canada launched Jin+Ja in 2010. The beverage, which is made with ginger, cayenne pepper, green tea, mint and lemon, is sold at a range of natural grocers, including Whole Foods, in the Northeast, as well as several college campuses in the region. Canada said the brand has found traction among retailers and consumers — as well as Expo East attendees — looking for healthy and functional beverage options, but with a highly enjoyable flavor profile.
“I think these people get it; the buyers are looking for natural foods that actually have superior taste, because people aren’t looking to compromise anymore,” Canada said. “When you start off with healthy, and elevate your thinking to make it absolutely delicious, there’s no compromise.”
In this video, Canada speaks with BevNET staff writer Max Rothman to discuss more about how Jin+ja has gradually found a following and the variety of use occasions for the line of drinks. Canada also offers details on the next steps for Jin+Ja including upcoming line extensions and new distribution and retail placement for the brand.