Americans drank more bottled water than any other beverage -including carbonated soft drinks - last year, according to research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp.
Consumption of bottled water reached 39.3 gallons per capita past year, surpassing the 38.5 gallons of soda per capita consumed, according to data from the Beverage Marketing Association.
"When Perrier first entered the country in the 1970s", said Michael Bellas, chairman and chief executive, Beverage Marketing Corp, "few would have predicted the heights to which bottled water would eventually climb".
The change at the top has always been anticipated with soda's woes mounting in recent years as result of health concerns and consistent targeting by activist groups, which have pushed measures like taxes on sugary drinks. While annual per capita consumption of bottled water reached 39.3 gallons, carbonated soft drinks slipped to 38.5 gallons.
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In February, another industry tracker Beverage Digest reportedly projected that bottled water volume consumption would surpass carbonated soft drinks in 2017. As a portable and affordable beverage, bottled water spawned new usage occasions and habits, and single-serving sizes became the most popular option, driving overall growth of the category and accounting for the majority of its volume. Perhaps the greatest irony is that buying bottled water works against the goals of "health and eco-conscious" consumers by contributing to environmental degradation, supporting large corporations and spending 2,000 times what they would have compared to tap water, writes Business Insider. The largest bottled water brands by volume is Nestle PureLife, followed by Coca-Cola-owned Dasani and PepsiCo's Aquafina, according to Beverage Digest.
Trends have been leaning in favor of the top-spot takeover since 2010, as bottled water has seen an increase in consumption for three years running.
-Is water America's new favorite beverage?
"The marking trick of the century" said John Jewell of The Week in 2014, relies on convincing consumers that bottled water is a healthier alternative to soda, when in reality it is an alternative to tap water.
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