Jones Soda's New Pure Cane Sugar Soft Drink: Competition for Coke

Includes: JSDA, KO
by: Jon Heller, CFA

Jones Soda's (NASDAQ:JSDA) recent announcement of the introduction of a sugar sweetened soda, as opposed to the more typical corn syrup sweetened variety, went largely unnoticed by the Street. Can you blame them? What's the big deal. Corn syrup or sugar? Who cares, what's the difference anyway?

Soda aficionados know that there is a huge difference. Pure cane sugar just plain tastes better. Some of us go to great lengths prior to Passover (your very Presbyterian Cheap Stocks editor included) to obtain supplies of Coca Cola's (NYSE:KO) kosher-for-Passover version of Coke, made with sugar, produced in limited quantities and available only in certain parts of the country. It tastes like the Coca Cola from many years ago, much better than the corn syrup version, with a much healthier head of foam.

Jones is touting their soon to be released Jones Pure Cane Sugar Soda as a healthier alternative to corn syrup sweetened sodas. While cane sugar is natural, high fructose corn syrup is not. Whether or not there are health benefits is up for debate.

Jones sees this new release as a differentiator in the already highly competitive soft drink market. Ultimately, if taste wins out, perhaps Jones and ultimately shareholders will benefit.

JSDA-KO 1-yr comparison chart:

JDSA-KO 1-yr comparison chart

Disclosure: The author has a position in this stock.