Canadian hemp and CBD holding company HeavenlyRX has announced a $9 million investment in Seattle-based Jones Soda and the option for a second investment worth $11.7 million. The money will be used to grow Jones’ current soda portfolio in bottles, cans and fountain, and develop possible CBD-infused extensions, Jones Soda CEO Jennifer Cue said in an interview. HeavenlyRX’s CEO, former Kellogg North America President Paul Norman, will take a seat on Jones’ board of directors. It will be one of two seats allocated to HeavenlyRX, which has “focused on acquiring unique brands to sell CBD and hemp-infused products,” according to a Jones statement. Cue and her team met HeavenlyRX through its parent, SOL Global Investments, which announced an almost 10% stake in Jones in March. Cue said HeavenlyRX and Jones may be ready to launch a CBD (cannabidiol) product in the fourth quarter of this year or early next year, depending on developments in the US regulatory environment. “The Jones brand just lends itself to the category, so it most likely will be a form of Jones,” Cue said. “Looking at various product development ideas we’ve had, it could be in the soda category or the lower-sugar category.”
Cans. Meanwhile, Jones Soda has a new aluminum can supplier and is looking to expand its offerings in the format, Cue said. The company is already selling cans to a pizza chain that replaced Coca-Cola products with Jones products. Cue said can supplies are short, however, because of greater beverage industry demand for the package. Jones Soda discontinued can packaging several years ago after Kroger delisted the package in favor of its own private label canned craft soda.
Lemoncocco. Cue said the brand, launched in 2016, has been “held back” due to production constraints tied to the aluminum can shortage and a difficulty finding adequate production capacity for the pasteurized non-carbonated product. New capacity is in sight, she said. Plans for the brand call for extensions infused with flavors such as blueberry and strawberry, she also said.
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