The tremendous rise in U.S. bottled water consumption has resulted in significant caloric savings, according to a new study from the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), New York. As Americans increasingly have opted for calorie-free bottled water instead of other beverages, they have collectively cut 61 to 68 trillion calories during the past 15 years (2000-2015), the market research firm reports.
“Bottled water’s ascent has been driven in large part by America’s move to healthier beverage choices, which has effectively resulted in calorie savings for all Americans,” said Michael C. Bellas, chairman and chief executive officer of BMC, in a statement. “To put this in perspective, imagine a person cutting 161 hot dogs, 126 chocolate doughnuts or 87 cheeseburgers from their diet last year. That’s the kind of difference we’re talking about when we quantify the number of calories saved due to this widespread shift to bottled water.”
During the past two decades, bottled water has been the leading growth category in the U.S. beverage market. The category’s total volume exceeded 11.7 billion gallons in 2015, up from 4.7 billion in 2000, the company says.
Individual bottled water consumption soared during this period, from 16.7 gallons a person in 2000 to 36.7 gallons a person in 2015, a 120 percent increase. By contrast, all other liquid refreshment beverages (LRBs) combined declined in both total volume and individual consumption over the same time period, it says. The combined volume of non-bottled water LRBs, including carbonated soft drinks, fruit beverages, energy drinks, sports beverages, ready-to-drink coffee and tea, and all forms of milk, decreased from 27 billion gallons to 25.8 billion gallons, it adds.
Individual consumption of these beverages combined dropped from 95.7 gallons a person to 80.1 gallons a person, a 16.3 percent decline, it says. “Bottled water already outsells, by volume, carbonated soft drinks in many U.S. cities, and we expect that it will very soon become the most consumed beverage product nationwide,” said Gary Hemphill, managing director of research at BMC, in a statement.
By analyzing these developments, BMC attempted to quantify the calories saved by consumers during the 15-year period as they chose bottled water as opposed to other, more caloric beverages. The analysis found that, on average, an individual saved between 24,000 and 27,000 calories in 2015 as compared with 2000, translating to a daily savings of between 64 and 74 calories a person in 2015, according to the market research firm.
“Caloric savings of this magnitude is rarely achieved by any food or beverage category,” Bellas added. “As health-conscious consumers continue to select bottled water in the years ahead, both they and the bottled water industry will feel the benefits of this choice.”
The complete report, “Bottled Water’s Impact on U.S. Caloric Intake,” can be accessed at http://www.beveragemarketing.com/news-detail.asp?id=390.
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