Jones Soda vs. The Pop Shoppe: Battle of the Bottles

BY AGATHON FRIC

ROUND 1: CANADIAN CONNECTION
JONES SODA: It may surprise you to learn that Jones Soda is actually a Canadian company! Before it began bottling its own offbeat brews, Jones distributed other soft drink brands in western Canada starting in 1987. Then, in 2000, the company moved its head office from Vancouver to Seattle to boost U.S. sales.
POP SHOPPE: The Pop Shoppe was established in 1969. In its prime, the London, Ontario-based business sold a million bottles a day, but increased competition put a stop to the Shoppe in 1983. The brand was revived in 2004 with new headquarters in Burlington.

The Pop Shoppe is first out of the gate, making it truly Canada’s original soft drink retailer!
SCORE: JONES SODA – 0
POP SHOPPE – 1

ROUND 2: TASTE TEST
JONES SODA: To compare the taste of Jones Soda with the Pop Shoppe’s soft drinks, three basic flavours were selected that both brands produce. First up to bat: Cream Soda. Jones’ Cream Soda is colourless and tastes like cotton candy, but it’s so sweet that it’s gross. Orange and Cream is an improvement with its smooth Creamsicle flavour, while Jones’ Root Beer has a peppery, almost medicinal taste. Hey Jones, if I needed a check-up, I’d call Dr. Pepper.
POP SHOPPE: In contrast with Jones’ Cream Soda, the Pop Shoppe’s version of the popular soft drink is parlour pink and tastes exactly how cream soda was meant to taste: silky, but not too sweet. Sadly, its Orange variety doesn’t fare as well: it loses its fizz very quickly and tastes like any generic orange pop. But the Shoppe’s Root Beer delivers another knockout with a stronger root flavour, darker colour, and old-fashioned taste.

Jones’ Orange and Cream flavour is a winner, but its Cream Soda and Root Beer are not. The Pop Shoppe bursts Jones’ bubble to pocket another point!
SCORE: JONES SODA – 0
POP SHOPPE – 2

ROUND 3: FLAVOUR FIGHT
JONES SODA: Jones Soda might fail the taste test when it comes to traditional flavours, but it excels with a unique line of peculiar concoctions. The company’s flavour catalog includes Blue Bubble Gum, Green Apple, Strawberry Lime, Berry Lemonade, Fufu Berry, and more! Jones has even experimented with Turkey & Gravy flavoured soda for Thanksgiving!
POP SHOPPE: The Pop Shoppe only sells eight flavours:  Cream Soda, Lime Ricky, Root Beer, Black Cherry, Orange, Grape, Pineapple, and Cola. They’re goodies, but they’re also oldies. Plus, Pineapple doesn’t sound too exotic after “Turkey & Gravy”.

You can’t call Jones “chicken” when it comes to trying new and unusual flavours. Jones Soda scores!
SCORE: JONES SODA – 1
POP SHOPPE – 2

ROUND 4: NUTRITION MISSION
JONES SODA: Pop isn’t the healthiest beverage, no matter what the brand, but is there a difference between the amount of calories in a bottle of Jones Soda versus that of the Pop Shoppe? Depending on what flavour you’re chugging, Jones Soda averages 40-48 grams of sugar and 160-190 calories per bottle. Some flavours are also available sugar-free.
POP SHOPPE: The Pop Shoppe’s drinks have roughly 46-50 grams of sugar in each serving, with up to 210 calories if you’re sipping the Orange soda. There are also “diet” varieties.

The difference in nutrition is negligible, but every bit counts. Jones Soda snags another point for using slightly less sugar. Mission accomplished!
SCORE: JONES SODA – 2
POP SHOPPE – 2

ROUND 5: PACKAGE PUNCH
JONES SODA: There’s a reason the Jones bottle says it’s a “Sooper Dooper Soda” and that’s because it is. With a long neck and slender body dressed in a label that is as unique as the personalities of those who crack one open, Jones Soda features customer-submitted photos up front and quotations under the cap.
POP SHOPPE: The Pop Shoppe bottle is Jones’ chubbier, shorter brother. Instead of a picture, there is a retro painted logo with red and white stripes. But don’t be fooled; this baby has attitude. Bratty lines like “You’re not the boss of me” or “I know you are, but what am I?” adorn the bottle. Nobody likes a soda that talks back.

The bottle says it best: “The labels are kinda like our minds – always changing.” A novel package makes Jones Soda far from “flat”.
SCORE: JONES SODA – 3
POP SHOPPE – 2

ROUND UP: The Pop Shoppe was tops, but while its classic flavours pass the taste test, the original Canadian soda maker’s old school appeal can’t compete when pop drinkers are jonesing for a Jones. With more flavours, less sugar, and a brilliant bottle design, Jones Soda practically sells itself. So, listen to what your Jones taught you and “Run with the little guy…create some change.”

Web Links:
www.jonessoda.com/ca
www.thepopshoppe.com