American consumers think bottled water is a healthy drink choice and want it readily available
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 or older for the International Bottled Water Assn. (IBWA). The poll’s conclusions reflect healthy hydration trends that are driving annual bottled water sales and consumption increases, and make it clear why the Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC) says that bottled water is on course to become the No. 1 packaged beverage in America by 2016.
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.
“While there have been a few efforts made to restrict its availability, 92% say bottled water should be available wherever other beverages are sold,” said IBWA Vice President of Communications Chris Hogan. “And, 55% said that bottled water was among their preferred beverages.
“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, to 10.9 billion gal,” Hogan continued. “In fact, according to BMC, in 2014 every American drank, on average, a record 34.2 gal of bottled water, and by 2016 bottled water is predicted to be the No. 1 packaged beverage sold in the United States."
The survey also showed that 86% of consumers already buy bottled water, most often from grocery stores (73%) or big-box retailers like Wal-Mart or Target (42%). These findings support research from BMC showing that consumers tend to buy bottled water in bulk from supermarkets or large discount retailers because they often prefer to purchase bottled water in cost-saving volume.