WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bottled water will outshine soda for the first time in U.S. history in 2016, spurred by its convenience and fears over tap water, Bloomberg reports. A previous report found that bottled water consumption grew 120% between 2000 and 2015.
The nation’s largest bottled-water producers (Coca-Cola Co., Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Nestle Waters and PepsiCo Inc.) point to Americans desiring portable, calorie-free beverages, but predict the trend will continue because of concerns over contaminated drinking water.
Communities in Flint, Mich., Newark, N.J., and Washington, D.C. are struggling to replace corroded pipes that have leached lead into tap water. “Concerns in places like Flint do bring bottled water to people’s attention as a safe and sealed source of drinking water,” said Jane Lazgin, a spokeswoman for Nestle Waters North America. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency forecasts a whopping $384 billion is needed to maintain or replace essential components of the nation’s water infrastructure over the next decade or so.
Euromonitor expects Americans to down 27.4 gallons of bottled water in 2016, 1.2 gallons more than carbonated soft drinks. That switch hasn’t impacted the bottom line of soft drink manufacturers because many of them have expanded into bottled water.
For more on packaged beverages (including bottled water), read “The Workhorse” in the August 2016 issue of NACS Magazine.