Industry tracker: Bottled water overtakes soda in US

Coca-Cola; Coke
FILE - This July 15, 2013 file photo shows the tops of Coca-Cola 8 oz. bottles in Doral, Fla. Coca-Cola on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 said it will not renew its sponsorship of a professional group for dietitians, bringing to a halt one of the many outreach efforts on health by the world’s biggest soda maker. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – An industry tracker says bottled water overtook soda as the No. 1 drink in the U.S. by sales volume last year.

Bottled water has been enjoying growth for years, while sales of traditional sodas have declined. Research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp. says Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016, and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks. In 2015, bottled water was at 36.5 gallons while soda was at 39 gallons.

Other industry trackers define categories differently, so may see the cross at different times. Beverage Marketing includes sparkling waters in bottled waters and excludes energy drinks in sodas. Another tracker, Beverage Digest, says by its metrics bottled water will surpass soda this year.

The estimates don’t include tap water.

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