Americans now officially drink more bottled water than soda. It’s a shift that decades ago might have seemed unthinkable—that consumers would buy a packaged version of something they could get free from a tap. But bottled-water sales have been growing in the U.S. ever since the arrival of Perrier in the 1970s. The gains accelerated in recent years amid concerns about the health effects of sugary drinks and the safety of public-water supplies.
Whether you drink it to quench your thirst or use it to wash your laundry, water is an indispensable part of our lives and our world.
New data from the the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) show that in 2015 Americans’ consumption of bottled water increased by 7.9 percent and bottled water sales are up 8.9 percent since the previous year. In fact, BMC now indicates that bottled water is poised to overtake carbonated soft drinks as America’s largest beverage category by volume by 2017, if not by the end of 2016.