Consumers are Choosing Bottled Water
Since 1998, approximately 73% of the growth in bottled water consumption has come from people switching from carbonated soft drinks, juices, and milk to bottled water. Consumers are choosing bottled water instead of less healthy packaged beverages.
One of the simplest changes a person can make is to switch to drinking water instead of other beverages that are heavy with sugar and calories. According to the Institute of Medicine and the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, one-third of American adults are overweight and another one-third is obese. And, over the last 30 years, children’s obesity rates have climbed from 5% to 17%. Drinking zero-calorie beverages, such as water, instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is regularly cited as a key component of a more healthful lifestyle, and promoting greater consumption of water from all sources, tap, filtered or bottled water, can only benefit those efforts.
Americans’ Increased Desire for Bottled Water
The vast majority of consumers see water as a smart beverage choice and consider bottled water to be healthier than soft drinks, according to newly released findings from a survey conducted online by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 U.S. adults 18 years and older. According to the November 2014 survey, 96% of Americans believe that we should be drinking more water. The poll also found that 95% of Americans believe that bottled water is a healthier beverage choice than soft drinks.
In addition, 91% of Americans say that healthy considerations, like calories, are at least somewhat important when making the decision about what beverage to consume. This high degree of awareness about making healthy diet choices is consistent with the 7.4% increase in bottled water consumption last year.
Bottled Water is an Efficient Water User
Despite the bottled water industry's size, the amount of water used is relatively tiny. In fact, bottled water uses less than 0.004% of all water in the United States.
To put it in context, the entire U.S. bottled water market is about 11 billion gallons; New York City goes through that amount of tap water in one week. Los Angeles goes through that amount of tap water in less than three weeks. According to the UCLA Institute for Environment and Sustainability, at almost 80%, agriculture is the largest user of water in the state, followed by urban residential use at 13%.
Additionally, 100% of bottled water is intended for human consumption. Conversely, only about 2% of tap water is used for human consumption. A vast majority of municipally sourced water is instead used in agriculture, households, and for industrial applications.
While overall sales growth and consumption of bottled water has increased as consumers choose water instead of less healthy sugared beverages, bottled water still has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. The results of a 2014 IBWA benchmarking study show that the amount of water and energy used to produce bottled water products in North America is less than all other types of packaged beverages.
On average, only 1.32 liters of water (including the liter of water consumed) and 0.24 mega joules of energy are used to produce one liter of finished bottled water.
Bottled Water is a Regulated and Healthy Choice
Bottled water is comprehensively regulated as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is a safe, healthy, and convenient product that is consumed at home, at the office, and on-the-go. For those who want to eliminate or moderate calories, sugar, caffeine, artificial flavors or colors, and other ingredients from their diet, or simply wish to opt for a convenient beverage with refreshing taste, reliable quality, and zero calories, choosing water is the right choice. And, in today’s busy society, when much of what we consume comes in a package, bottled water is a smart and health-conscious beverage choice.
You can learn more at www.BottledWater.org.