Bottled Water Sales May Top Soda by 2017November 10, 2015
The battle is on. In this corner, the bubbly, vivacious champion weighing in at nearly 200 calories: soda pop. In this corner, the humble upstart with hometown roots stretching deep into the earth, dihydrogen oxide, H2O – commonly referred to as water.
While soda still holds the title as American’s top beverage, its grip is tenuous. According to several industry indicators, soda’s hold as the libation of choice has been on the slow slide downward for the last 20 years.
Despite the soda industry’s marketing muscle and public policy-influencing swagger, full-calorie soda sales have fallen by more than 25 percent since 1985. We at Azure Water, the premier bottled water co-packers, monitor news trends and industry shifts to address consumer demand and tastes.
Soda’s heyday has lasted for nearly three decades and still manifests itself in some unusual derivatives: Pepsi’s salty watermelon, Japan’s curry soda, Pepsi’s ice cucumber, Switzerland’s black garlic soda, St. Vincent’s tree bark soda, Pepsi’s strawberry milk soda, Malaysia’s grass soft drink and Vietnam’s white fungus bird’s nest soft drink.
But according to The New York Times, soda’s reign may end in two years with bottled water rising to the top. The shift to bottled water may be linked in the last decade to changes in the American diet as part of a concerted focus on calorie reduction.
The shift, which is expected to elevate bottled water, has generally followed the trend lines of American’s eating habits. Calorie consumption in the average America diet peaked in 2003, paralleling decades of rising obesity levels, but have steadily fallen as consumers continue to focus on making more healthy choices. The downward trend has moved relatively evenly along most demographic lines, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Word of Mouth and Pushy Lobbying Partly to Blame
Besides sustained efforts for more healthy choices, Big Soda has almost come under fire by simple word of mouth. Although soda held the reigns so tightly for so long, the common notion among consumers has been that soda is “bad for you.”
That heightened sense of awareness began growing in the late 1990s after numerous studies revealed the dangers of obesity and its indirect connection to soda consumption.
An unfavorable trend developed that soured consumers to soda following what was perceived as the industry’s intrusive involvement in policy making. The city of Philadelphia is one of many examples of falling victim to Big Soda’s heavy lobbying hand. City officials failed in 2010 to pass a soda tax, but despite the loss have pummeled the soda industry with effective campaigns educating the public about soda’s health risks.
While not alone on the horizon of soda contenders, Philadelphia’s return fire has had a noticeable impact. Soda consumption by teens in the city has dropped 24 percent from 2007 to 2013. The nation’s rate is 20 percent. Philadelphia’s public-relations battle – and its recent victory – against the soda industry has reaped some positive returns. Childhood obesity has undergone a “sustained decline” in Philadelphia, according to The New York Times.
We at Azure Water understand the health benefits of water consumption. That’s why we ensure our water undergoes such a rigorous purification. Azure Water’s facility uses state-of-the-art equipment that can produce 5,000 cases a day, including alkaline spring water and artesian mineral water. We can make custom-bottle shapes, and fill, seal and label your bottles. If you’re looking to expand your business or have questions about co-packing or our capabilities, contact us.