Americans have been wising up to the deleterious effects of sugary liquid death, cutting back on soda consumption and turning to alternative forms of hydration. In 2015, the average American bought about 35 gallons of water per year and 40 gallons of soda, as opposed to 15 gallons of water and 50 gallons of soda in 2000. Now, reports indicate that Americans drink more bottled water than they do soda.
Based on industry tracker Beverage Marketing Corp.'s data, bottled water is now the number one beverage in the United States. "Total bottled water volume grew from 11.8 billion gallons in 2015 to 12.8 billion gallons in 2016, an increase of nearly 9%, which marked the third year in a row of accelerating growth," according to the report.
Per capita, Americans drank more than 39 gallons of bottled water in 2016, compared with 38.5 gallons of soda, which, still isn't great, guys. The data points to water's versatility (no need for carbonation or refrigeration) and general healthful qualities as reasons for the growth.
Single serve bottles blew the rest of the bottled category...out of the water...but bulk water and fancy imported carbonated varieties also saw growth. Remember when Lady Gaga was going to make bottled water? Golly, she'd be rich by now!
At least one entity isn't jazzed about all of this: the Earth. Bottled water has an enormous environmental impact from the staggering waste with each one that's tossed in the trash to the manufacturing resources like chemicals and oil used to make the bottles, as well as the carbon emissions from trucks used to transport them. Invest in a reusable bottle to save the environment and your finances.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, soda was still the big money-maker ($39.5 billion versus $21.3 billion for water) and Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also control the country's two most popular bottled water brands Dasani and Aquafina. You cannot topple Big Soda but you can circumnavigate it.