It’s official: Americans are now drinking more bottled water than soda. Reuters Health reports that according to research from consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp, after decades-long streak of strong growth, bottled water surpassed carbonated soft drinks to become the largest beverage category by volume in the US in 2016.
The report says the shift comes amid widespread concerns about the health effects of sugary beverages. Several US cities voted for soda tax in November, in a bid to battle diet-related diseases, including obesity and diabetes.
Bottled-water consumption in the US reached 39.3 gallons per capita last year, while carbonated soft drinks slipped to 38.5 gallons, Beverage Marketing Corp said. In contrast, per capita soda consumption regularly exceeded 50 gallons in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to the report.
Total bottled water volume rose about 9% to 12.8bn gallons in 2016, compared with a year earlier. “When Perrier first entered the country in the 1970s, few would have predicted the heights to which bottled water would eventually climb,” said Michael Bellas, chair and CEO, Beverage Marketing Corp.Reuters Health report