Jones Soda Co. announced their US launch of a functional beverage today called Jones GABA, available in spring 2009. GABA doesn’t contain any caffeine, but utilizes PharmaGABA, a naturally occurring amino acid (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid). A 12oz can contains 150mg of GABA, which increases the productivity of alpha waves to help relieve stress and improve focus. This beverage will launch four flavors initially: Grapefruit, Nectarine, Lemon Honey, and Fuji Apple.
The difference between Jones’ new beverage and the other available products is the type of ingredient to give the drink its “kick.” Many functional beverages on the market right now belong in the caffeinated energy-drink category, and the side effects almost certainly mitigate the drink’s effectiveness after a few hours. Users that have consumed energy drinks before and tried a GABA notice the difference, saying that there is a greater ability to maintain focus and suffer no crash at the end.
Does the new drink change the energy-drink market playing field? In order to gain a strong hold on the market, GABA must deliver a strong communication effort to advertise its unique benefits compared to its competitors, namely Red Bull and Monster. The majority of energy-drink consumers look for brand rather than actual functional benefits, so if the message is carefully crafted to highlight the benefits and present a robust brand message, consumers may start looking into GABA. Here’s hoping that their marketing message is strong and connects with consumers. It’s about time the energy-drink market faces develops a beverage that promises no crash, instead of advertising more caffeine to power you through the day.