BOTTLED WATER RISE TO NO. 1 IS GOOD NEWS FOR INDUSTRY AND WATER PRODUCERS
May 10, 2016
Bottled water’s rise in popularity has been slow in coming, but market analysts expect bottled water sales to surpass soda this year. Experts expect the sales margin to widen even further for the next four years as consumers increasingly seek healthier choices.
Analysts had predicted the market to hit the pivot point in 2017, but big soda’s slow response to consumer demand for healthier alternatives and the declining demand for soda led to the earlier economic forecast.
The soda industry has exercised considerable marketing sway to stem the bottled water’s rise; however, soda sales have fallen by more than 25 percent since 1985.
The trend lines – soda’s downward trek and bottled water’s rise – have generally followed other American dietary indicators, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Health experts have traced the trajectories, which have followed Americans’ desire for lower-calorie and healthier substitutes.
‘WORD OF MOUTH’ AND HEALTHIER CHOICES ATTRIBUTED TO BOTTLED WATER’S RISE
Although the soda industry has waged an intense marketing war to boost its brand with slick advertising and targeted campaigns, old-fashioned “word-of-mouth” communication has largely prevailed; the mantra that soda is “bad for you” is hard to ignore.
Recent news events of contaminated municipal water systems and possible lead poisoning from water pipes have also contributed to bottle water’s rise in popularity. With news of Flint, Michigan’s contaminated public water as the backdrop, many public and private entities have found safe, easy and healthy alternatives with bottled water.
Add to the mix health campaigns of the last 20 years condemning soda’s close association with rising obesity levels. The memories of soda’s tarnished reputation linger and American consumers are slowly learning that bottled water is an acceptable – and healthy – long-term alternative to soda.
“Sales of bottled water in the United States have yet again reached new highs, with the largest total volume consumption on record in 2015 at 39.3 billion liters,” the Euromonitor financial report states.
“Despite environmental concerns and doubts about the added-value amongst some, consumers continue to embrace bottled water. This product has had success leveraging its naturally healthy attributes when compared with other types of soft drinks, such as carbonates and sports drinks, which both contain high levels of natural and/or artificial sweeteners.”
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