Bottled Water to Pass Soda Sales

Not only is coffee very important to your location, but bottled water has shown such strong growth in recent years, it is on the verge of becoming the largest U.S. beverage category by volume by year’s end.

U.S. consumers’ consumption of bottled water increased 7.9% in 2015 (over the previous year) and resulted in an increase in sales of 8.9%. This growth has the category positioned to take the title of largest beverage category in the U.S. (by volume) from carbonated soft drinks, perhaps as soon as the end of 2016.

While water continues to grow, the per-capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks continues to drop, for the 11th straight year to be exact, dropping by 12.4 gallons per person (annually) in 2015.

The consumption of carbonated  soft drinks hit a 30-year low in 2015, Beverage Digest reported in March, while Americans will drink 27.4 gallons of bottled water each this year, which is 1.2 more gallons than soda.

This change in habits is not entirely why sales will go up, some experts say. It does however play in to consideration the decaying pipes that lead to water contaminated with lead in many parts of the country. That includes Flint, MI; Washington, D.C.; and Newark, NJ.

When looking at the C-store channel specifically, water remains the third-largest nonalcoholic beverage category; with Carbonated Soft Drinks in the number-one spot, followed by Energy Drinks. Though still in third place, water did see a 10% increase in unit sales in 2015:

•  Plain single-serve bottled water – up 8%
•  Multipacks – up 10%
•  Sweetened/Enhanced – up only 0.9%

Though it is a smaller piece of the pie, sparkling water did grow 19.7% in 2015, hinting that consumers are replacing their carbonated beverages with carbonated water; keeping with the growing health trend.


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