Beverage Battle

Water Overtakes Sweet Sodas

After decades of strong growth, bottled water consumption has outpaced carbonated soft drinks to become the largest beverage category by volume in the United States. Michael Bellas, chairman and chief executive at Beverage Marketing Corp. says, “When Perrier first entered the country in the 1970s, few would have predicted the heights to which bottled water would eventually climb.”

In 2015, U.S. bottled water consumption totaled 39.3 gallons per capita, while carbonated soft drinks fell to 38.5 gallons. Bad publicity about the health effects of sugary beverages is at the root of the trend, with some states considering making them off-limits to food stamp purchasers and cities voting for soda taxes to combat diet-related diseases like obesity and diabetes.