Industry tracker: Bottled water overtakes soda in US

Beverage Marketing Corp. reports in a Friday, March 10 news release that bottle water volume ballooned from 11.8 billion gallons in 2015 to 12.8 billion in 2016.

This milestone comes in the wake of growing concerns around the globe about the health ramifications of sugary drinks.

In a latest report, bottled water became the largest beverage category by volume in 2016 in the US, surpassing sodas. That's quite the slide from the 1990s and early 2000s, when people were regularly guzzling more than 50 gallons yearly. Last year, consumption of bottled water per capita consumption was up 7.7%, while carbonated soft drinks fell 1.2%, from the previous year. The Super Bowl, long home to glitzy soda marketing, was used by two premium bottled water brands this year to run in-game ads. Beverage Marketing Corp. projected that bottled water would hit the 50-gallon mark by the middle of next decade.

"When Perrier first entered the country in the 1970s, few would have predicted the heights to which bottled water would eventually climb".

On a basis of per capita, the intake of bottled water reached 39 gallons, whereas carbonated soft drinks consumption reduced to 38.5 gallons. "Since resuming growth in 2010, bottled water volume has consistently enlarged at solid single-digit percentage rates", he added. They added PepsiCo which was supposed to market its new Lifewtr brand instead of its cola flagship.

Most of the general public believes that bottle water is cleaner and safer than drinking from the tap, said an attorney representing health advocates.

Beverage Marketing Corp. reported that "bottled water's ascent coincided with and encouraged seismic shifts in consumer preferences for healthier refreshment and hydration".

Americans have officially crowned bottled water as their beverage king. In 2015, bottled water was at 36.5 gallons while soda was at 39 gallons.

  • Todd Kelly