Jones Soda dramatically increased their distribution reach by gaining listing with Walmart. After a trial test that proved to be successful at 750 US locations, Walmart has agreed to give 3 shelf facings to carry 3 Jones Pure Cane Soda flavors (Green Apple, Berry Lemonade, and Cream Soda) across all their US retail locations.
“The primary complaint through our customer service feedback is that people can’t find Jones Soda near them,” said Jones CEO William Meissner. “The Walmart deal allows for another one of America’s premier retailers to offer Jones. Walmart greatly expands our distribution footprint and truly makes our product accessible to everyone, which is something the Jones Soda brand has always stood for. Now, almost anyone, anywhere in the U.S. can seek out a nearby store or stumble upon our product and purchase it on the spot. We are incredibly energized by the growth potential this Walmart expansion brings.” With Walmart`s 3800 locations, reports indicate that this will increase Jones`retail distribution another 10 percent.
Although this distribution agreement will help Jones Soda gain visibility with more customers, it may also work against them in some aspects. First, Jones Soda will now be just another product lost among the many beverages in the beverage aisle. Walmart realizes that their retailer network is large, and as such imposes tough hurdles to ensure profitability, hence Jones has to pass a trial test across 750 stores. Even then Jones Soda is given only 3 shelf facings to display their products to consumers. The other aspect that also works against them is lower profitability. By getting into Walmart stores, Jones Soda will also have to likely sell their beverages at a lower price point.
In any case, since Jones Soda is a somewhat struggling company trying to turn over a profit, getting into Walmart is a step in the right direction. The important thing is to gain distribution and new customers and this is what Jones Soda is doing. No word on whether this Walmart agreement extends into Canada, but Jones Soda can already be found at a variety of places, just not at Walmart Canada- yet.