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Americans are now drinking more bottled water than they are soda. Consumption of bottled water across the U.S. reached 39.3 gallons per capita in 2016, while carbonated drinks dropped to just 38.5 gallons. That marked just the first time soda had been knocked from its perch of first place, showed data from an industry publication.
However, soda remains more expensive and retail sales reached $39.5 billion versus bottled water sales of $21.3 billion, said Euromonitor an industry research group.
During 2016, bottled water became the No. 1 drink in terms of volume, which has taken two decades to be accomplished.
While the soda category has been experiencing drops in volume sales each year since 2003, bottled water increased each year over the past two decades, with the exception of 2009 during the Great Recession.
Water sales have been driven by the concerns of consumer about how artificial sweeteners and sugar effect health.
More than 25% of the revenue from bottled water in 2016 was shared by the two soda giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, which sell Aquafina and Dasani respectively.
Over the four decades since Perrier water was first launched in the United States, bottled water consumption has grown by 2,700%, to 11.7 billion gallons during 2015 from just 354 million gallons back in 1976, showed data from the International Bottled Water Association.
Bottled water was given another boost unexpectedly aside from the concerns about sodas. Scares that possible water contamination has taken place boosted demand for water over the past few decades say experts.
Close to 700,000 people in California might be exposed to water that is contaminated, according the Water Resources Control Board in California.
In 2014, in the city of Toledo, Ohio the National Guard distributed bottled water to the city’s residents because of water being contaminated.
An emergency was declared in January of 2016 in Flint, Michigan and residents there were told they should use bottled water for both bathing and drinking because of old and faulty lead pipes.
However, what people are not aware of is when they purchase bottle water they often times are drinking the same water that is from the tap.
Most of the general public believes that bottle water is cleaner and safer than drinking from the tap, said an attorney representing health advocates. However, the attorney said that for the most part it is not a true statement.
As many as, 45% of the different brands of bottled waters, are sourced from municipal water supplies.