For the first time in U.S. history, the consumption of bottled water has now surpassed that of carbonated soft drinks, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.
Bottled water consumption grew by 8.5 percent last year, while soft drink consumption fell by 1.7 percent, following an ongoing trend, according to the BMC’s Gary Hemphill, as quoted in Plastics News.
The statistics are based on volume consumed, not dollar value, Hemphill said. “Which is really kind of remarkable when you consider bottled water’s growth trajectory didn’t really start until the early ‘90s.”
The shift is largely attributed to growing health concerns
related to drinking sugary soft drinks. But bottled water also is
displacing the consumption of juice, alcoholic beverages and even
tap water. See story by Hadley Malcolm in
In response to the trend, major beverage manufacturers, including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have been producing new brands of bottled water and increasing their advertising. Coke produces Dasani and Smartwater, while Pepsi produces Aquafina and Lifewtr. As reported in Water Ways, Lifewter rolled out a new television commercial for the Super Bowl. Go to Water Ways, Feb. 6, to see my favorite water-related Super Bowl commercials.
Responding to people’s increasing preference for bottled water has helped to keep Coke and Pepsi in the black, although the profit margins and brand loyalty for bottled water are not nearly as great as for soft drinks.
While bottled water may not carry the baggage of health warnings associated with soft drinks, it does create an environmental downside with lots and lots of plastic waste.
Plastic made up 41 percent of the total number of beverage containers last year, an increase of 5 percent since 2012, according to Hemphill, as reported in Plastic News. Meanwhile, metal cans fell by 3 percent to 37 percent during that same time period.
Admittedly, there is not much amusement in all these facts and figures about the growth of bottled water, and I don’t intend to discuss the debate around the benefits of aluminum cans over plastic bottles, or how plastic comes from petroleum and contributes to climate change.
I probably don’t need to remind readers of this blog that you can purchase a nice water bottle, fill it and refill it with tap water and use it to drink for a very long time. Tap water, we know, is just as good, if not better, than bottled water in the general scheme of things. For a good discussion on this issue, check out “The Truth About Tap” by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
I would like to dedicate this “Amusing Monday” to some of the TV commercials for bottled water through the years. Those on this page are some I consider creative and amusing and not seen in this blog before. Pepsi H2OH! is slightly fruit-flavored. If you would like a few other videos on this topic of bottled water, check out these posts from the past:
- Did any of the commercials bowl you over? (Best water-related ads from the recent Super Bowl)
- Evolution of the water babies (Series of videos, including Evian water babies commercial)
- Aniston gets “smart” with water (PepsiCo Smartwater commercial)
- Babies have the moves (Evian water commercial)