Bottled water has taken the place of soda as the #1 packaged beverage choice in America, for the first time according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC)! Sales for this option increased nearly 10% last year leaving soda in its proverbial dust. Apparently, we are living amongst a new, health-conscious consumer who worries about obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Not to mention, the rising fear we must face concerning the safety of public water supplies. The sales of bottled water have surpassed soda so greatly that it amounts to almost 1 gallon more per citizen of the United States. That is a whole heck of a lot more water and, way fewer calories and artificial sweeteners.
There is a myriad of reasons that we, as a society, are turning to purer hydration including:
- It’s healthier, duh.
- The taste.
- It’s refreshing.
- The convenience.
- It is versatile or suitable for any time of day, in any situation.
- Water is enjoyable at any temperature.
Another convincing reason for choosing bottled water over soda is the environmental impact. Bottled water has the lowest water and energy use of all packaged beverages. Yes, I said water consumption, ironic, isn’t it? Also, bottled water uses far less plastic than soda. Plastic water bottles contain an average of 9.89g versus a whopping 23.9g in soda bottles. The carbonation requires pop manufacturers to use a thicker bottle which, in turn, requires more plastic.
The statistics included from the BMC report include all sizes of bottled water ranging from the on the go type that you typically think of, all the way up to our favorite, the 5-gallon water bottle. The 5-gallon option adds even further versatility (most 5-gallon water bottles are dispensed through a water cooler, often providing both hot and cold water) and eco-friendliness to the equation (they are re-used several times and finally recycled at the end of their life).
What does this all mean for soda? I am not sure; I am certain it will always be around but, I am not sure that there is a viable option that could outweigh all of the inherent benefits of water. I have always been of the belief that nothing man made can compete with mother nature. I am quite confident she is and will always be the clear winner.
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BMC is a research, consulting, and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry (www.beveragemarketing.com).