Bottled water has become the biggest selling packaged beverage by volume in the U.S. for the first time, according to recently-released research.
The total amount of bottled water consumption reached 12.8 billion gallons in 2016 from the previous years' 11.8 billion gallons per the Beverage Marketing Corporation. On a per capita basis, bottled water consumption exceeded 39 gallons compared with 38.5 gallons for soda.
Based on industry tracker Beverage Marketing Corp.'s data, bottled water is now the number one beverage in the United States. Now, reports indicate that Americans drink more bottled water than they do soda.
The popularity of packaged water started when Perrier was introduced in the 1970s.
The changing dynamics have reshaped beverage marketing. That's a dramatic drop from the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the average American drank more than 50 gallons of soft drinks per year. The most consumed bottled water brands included Nestle PureLife, along with Coca-Cola's Dasani and PepsiCo's Aquafina, reported Beverage Digest.
Most of the general public believes that bottle water is cleaner and safer than drinking from the tap, said an attorney representing health advocates. "Amid worries about obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health matters, bottled water's lack of calories and artificial ingredients, convenience and refreshing taste attracts health-conscious consumers", he said. Wonderful Company's Fiji bottled water brand also ran a Super Bowl ad. Soda marketers such as Coca Cola Co. are still spending heavily on advertising, but they have shifted their strategy to emphasize smaller pack sizes, while prioritizing profit growth over volume growth. "As the ultimate portable and affordable beverage, bottled water spawned new usage occasions and habits".