According to a recent study by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), 63 percent of consumers say bottled water is their preferred beverage of choice. Still or sparkling, the bottled water industry is seeing a rise in popularity as consumers turn away from carbonated sugary drinks.
The online survey conducted by Harris Poll involved 3,000 US adults aged 18 and older. According to the poll, 94 percent of participants believe that bottled water is a healthier choice than sodas and 93 percent of them say bottled water should be available wherever other drinks are sold.
“This poll is consistent with consumption figures released earlier this year that show, for the first time in history, bottled water is the number one packaged beverage in the United States (by volume),” said Jill Culora, IBWA’s Vice President of Communications.
“People are shifting away from less healthy packaged drinks and choosing the healthy option – bottled water.”
Nearly all participants (99 percent) said that they drink tap, filtered or bottled water, 33 percent drink both bottled and tap/filtered water equally. 31 percent of these water drinkers drink only/mostly bottled water and 35 percent drink only/mostly tap or filtered water. The study also found that those who prefer bottled water as a beverage are more likely to recycle their containers than those who prefer soft drinks.
“The new poll also found that people who own their own home report they recycle more often than renters, both at home and away from home. The poll also showed that people who were married said they recycled more often than those who were single,” said Culora.
However, consumers are selective when they purchase bottled water. Nestle’s recent class action lawsuit against their Poland Spring bottled water is an example of how consumers are looking out for fraudulent claims. They have the same standards for water as they do for other food products.
The study highlighted taste, quality and safety features as important product traits for water drinkers. Manufacturers need to maintain quality sourcing for their natural spring waters and provide detailed information on their products through packaging or marketing campaigns. In addition, consumers also prefer convenient and resealable packaging.
Sparkling water products are seeing a growth in popularity as consumers look for alternatives to soft drinks. Sparkling water brand LaCroix continues to experience increased sales in their lightly flavored beverages. Thanks to LaCroix’s affordable price, clean ingredients and social-media campaigns, the product has become quite popular with the millennial market.