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Jan 24, 2019 / Richard Hall

What Americans want from beverages

A US survey of 2,048 adults in November 2018, on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association, found that bottled water is consumed by 12% more Americans than carbonated soft drinks. 71% drink bottled water, compared with 59% drinking soda. If fully representative, this is an extraordinary reversal of the figures for November 2017, when carbonated soft drinks had a 4% lead.

Despite critical media coverage of plastic, Americans have a highly positive view of all water including bottled water.

  • 99% drink water.
  • 91% believe bottled water is healthy and convenient.
  • 84% feel they should drink more water.
  • Of bottled water drinkers, 98% choose it for taste, 98% for quality, 90% for safety, 81% for convenience on the go, 70% for lack of artificial sweeteners and 68% for low calorie content.

Americans’ choice of different water types is broken down by the survey:

  • 16% drink only bottled.
  • 21% drink mostly bottled.
  • 37% drink bottled and tap/filtered equally.
  • 16% drink mostly tap/filtered.
  • 10% drink only tap/filtered.

Consumption patterns for bottled water are also analysed:

  • 89% drink it on the move.
  • 82% of those working drink it at work.
  • 75% drink it at home.

Kerbside collection was a much higher 54% for bottled water, compared with 20% for soda. When asked about who should take primary responsibility for recycling, the view was:

  • 78% consumers
  • 59% industry
  • 31% government
  • 21% all three groups.

Collection and recycling certainly need working on.

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