Is that pixie dust in my eyes, or just a little Jones Soda (Nasdaq: JSDA) powder?

The edgy beverage company gave investors a surprising shot of good news yesterday, announcing that its 24c energy drink packets -- flavored, vitamin-stoked powder that's added to water -- will be sold through Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI).

Landing the leading organic grocer is important for several reasons.

  • It validates the still unproven 24c product line.
  • It makes Jones Soda less dependent on its namesake pop sugar.
  • It opens the door for Jones Soda at an upscale grocer where shoppers are used to paying a premium for stuff that's good for you.

Jones Soda has a knack for showing up in cool places. You can pick up the company's bottled soda at trendy places like Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS).

Its sugar cane-sweetened pop is showing up everywhere, even football stadiums and airlines. The company's financials have been spotty -- something that may not improve until the company names a results-driven industry vet to fill the vacant CEO slot -- but the product's growing popularity is indisputable.

Now that 24c is hitting mainstream retailers, the company has a shot to be more than just a one-dimensional company.

Then again, Jones Soda was already taking steps to move beyond its funky holiday flavors and cutting-edge staples by bottling mainstream flavors like cola and lemon-lime. If the company was going to have to sell the basics at Seattle Seahawks football games, it may as well build brand awareness at the retail level, too.

Diversification is commendable, though obviously not necessary. Red Bull and Monster parent Hansen Natural (Nasdaq: HANS) are doing just fine in cornering the energy drink market, even if Hansen dabbles in several other product lines.

However, if Jones Soda is given two horses to ride, it may well saddle up a pair of jockeys and see how far it can ride them. 24c may create opportunities for Jones Soda, especially if some of the organic and fitness chains that begin stocking 24c see the merit in Jones going with cane sugar for its pop over high fructose corn syrup like Coke (NYSE: KO) and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP).

The company's flagship pop may also open doors for 24c. Now that even Coke is taking a $4.1 billion bet on VitaminWater, it's awfully convenient that Jones Soda's Rolodex is padded with leading retailers and trendy retail restaurant establishments that may now want to follow Whole Foods' lead.

Even if it's hard to get excited about the company's fourth-quarter report due out tomorrow, given its recent quarterly disappointments, the future beyond that is starting to look up again.

If you like small stocks with spunk like Jones Soda, you may appreciate the Rule Breakers ultimate growth stock newsletter service. It's been an active recommendation there for a few months now. Subscribe today or take the taste test with a free 30-day trial subscription. Coca-Cola is an Inside Value recommendation. Whole Foods Market is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Panera is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt pick.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz actually enjoys some of the more exotic Jones Soda seasonal flavors like caramel apple and key lime pie. He does own shares in Jones Soda. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.