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Soft Drinks’ Market Share Declines while Bottled Water Sales Soar, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Industry analysts reported that for 2016, total U.S. sales volume of carbonated soft drinks fell by 1.2%, to 642 eight-ounce servings per capita, the twelfth straight year of decline according to Beverage Marketing Corp. Beverage Digest.  Sales have fallen sharply for diet sodas due to younger consumers’ concerns about chemical additives to food and beverages. 

Soft drink sales are likely to fall further due to new taxes, such as the 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax passed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in mid-2016.  Similar legislation was passed in Berkeley, California in 2014.  Outside the U.S., Mexico imposed a 10% tax on sugary drinks in 2014, while the UK is expected to imposed a tax starting in 2018.  France imposed its own soda tax in 2012, and in 2016, banned free soda refills in restaurants.

Meanwhile, sales of bottled water are on the rise.  Beverage Marketing Corp. reported that U.S. bottled water volume was up by 9% in 2016 over 2015, reaching 12.8 billion gallons and $15.95 billion in revenue.  Sparkling water beverages are skyrocketing also.



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