Published: Mon, March 13, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Bottled Water Most Popular Drink for 1st Time in History

Bottled Water Most Popular Drink for 1st Time in History

Bottled-water consumption in the United States reached 39.3 gallons per capita past year, while carbonated soft drinks slipped to 38.5 gallons, Beverage Marketing Corp said. That's quite the slide from the 1990s and early 2000s, when people were regularly guzzling more than 50 gallons yearly.

Over the four decades since Perrier water was first launched in the United States, bottled water consumption has grown by 2,700%, to 11.7 billion gallons during 2015 from just 354 million gallons back in 1976, showed data from the International Bottled Water Association.

However, soda remains more expensive and retail sales reached $39.5 billion versus bottled water sales of $21.3 billion, said Euromonitor an industry research group. Beverage Marketing includes sparkling waters in bottled waters and excludes energy drinks in sodas.

"With the exception of two relatively small declines in 2008 and 2009 - when most beverage categories contracted - bottled water volume grew every year from 1977 to 2016". Where once it would have been unimaginable to see Americans walking down the street carrying plastic bottles of water, or driving around with them in their cars' cup holders, now that's the norm.

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Bottled water has been on an upward trajectory for the past 40 years, Beverage Consulting says.

In 2016, the total volume of bottled water increased by about 9 percent in comparisonto 2015.

So while the excessive use of plastic may be worrisome for the environment, the growing popularity of bottled water illustrates a trend toward healthier lifestyle choices. The most consumed bottled water brands included Nestle PureLife, along with Coca-Cola's Dasani and PepsiCo's Aquafina, reported Beverage Digest. "As the ultimate portable and affordable beverage, bottled water spawned new usage occasions and habits".

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