Water now America’s top drink

This article was originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle’s health section on April 3, 2013.

Bottled water's popularity has helped H{-2}0 reclaim its top spot over soda. Photo: Charles Krupa, Associated Press
Bottled water’s popularity has helped H{-2}0 reclaim its top spot over soda. Photo: Charles Krupa, Associated Press

For the first time in 30 years, Americans are more likely to quench their thirst with water than soda. That’s according to Beverage Digest, a publication tracking industry trends. Experts attribute this to both the increase in bottled water’s popularity and the public health campaign against soda.

Here are the numbers:

44

The number of gallons of soda each American drinks each year, on average. This is down from 54 gallons in 1998, when soda consumption was at its peak.

58

The number of gallons of water (bottled or tap) an average American drinks in a year. Soda topped water for the first time in the 1980s, but water has reclaimed its spot with a 38 percent increase in consumption since 1998.

21

The number of gallons of bottled water the average American drinks. This is nearly double what it was 15 years ago.

42%

The share of the carbonated soft-drink market held by the Coca Cola Co., which includes Coke, Sprite, Fanta and Barq’s root beer. PepsiCo is next, with 28.5 percent of the market, followed by Dr Pepper/Snapple with 16.7 percent.

29%

The percentage of plastic water or soda bottles sold in the United States that are recycled, according to Environmental Protection Agency data.