It’s time to abdicate the throne, soda. You are no longer the king of beverage sales in the United States.
A new study from the Beverage Marketing Corporation has per capita (which means “per person”) consumption of bottled water overtaking carbonated soft drinks for the first time ever as the most consumed bottle beverage in the United States. In 2016, bottled water consumption rose 7.7% from 36.5 gallons to 39.3 gallons per capita.
Soda intake, meanwhile, decreased by 1.2% from 39 to 38.5 gallons per person.
Bottled water consumption per capita has been on the rise since 2010 and the volume of production has increased steadily since the late 1970s, partially due to a consumer preference for less sugar and healthier beverages leading to them consuming more bottled water products. It’s also led to a continual decline in soda’s share of the market.
Sparkling water has also become a huge trend amongst consumers, with calorie-free flavored carbonated waters like La Croix leading the charge. Flavored bottled water brands like Hint have also been doing well.
Many soda producers have turned to zero-calorie sparkling or bottled water beverage alternatives as a result. SmartWater announced a carbonated form of their drink last year, and Aquafina and Dasani also incorporated fizzy forms of their water into their product lines.
With so many zero calorie flavored water options out there rapidly taking over soda’s sales, it begs a critical question that could reshape the beverage industry as we know it: Are soda products like Coca-Cola and Sprite going to survive in the next decade or two?
Guess we’ll just have to see if the trends continue to find out. So far, it doesn’t look good for sugary carbonated drinks.