NEW YORK CITY – Bottled water’s skyrocketing growth is nipping at the heels of soft drinks, USA Today reports. A new Beverage Marketing report discovered that consumption of bottled water accelerated 120% between 2000 and 2015.
The soaring increase happened while carbonated drinks have spiraled downward, dropping 16% during the same 15-year period. Growing concerns about sugar-sweetened beverages coupled with a declining interest in diet soda has propelled water’s popularity, writes the news source, adding that still and sparkling bottled water isn’t just a replacement drink for soda. Consumers are reaching for bottled water instead of tap water, alcohol and juice drinks.
“Water is both a tap water replacement and a refreshment beverage,” said Michael Bellas, CEO of Beverage Marketing. “It was really one of the very first beverages to start to be consumed for health reasons.”
Bellas pointed out that the versatility of water also factored into its growth. “Bottled water is the only beverage that is consumed all day long,” he told the news source. Beverage Marketing predicted that consumers will be downing more bottled water than soft drinks within a year’s time.
What’s also different about consumer behavior with bottled water versus carbonated drinks is that consumers aren’t as loyal to water brands as they are with soda brands. Bottled water has lower profit margins as well. “The margins of the business and the loyalty issues make it not nearly as attractive as it is with carbonated soft drinks,” said Joseph Agnese, an equity analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.