In New York City you can’t avoid ads encouraging people to fight for their right to drink enormous amounts of carbonated high fructose corn syrup-laden beverages–no matter the cost to their health. The fact that these drinks are a major cause of obesity is just one of the many things the fizzy pop purveyors don’t want to admit. MarketWatch picks ten:
1. “The hottest new beverage is water.”
People aren’t losing their thirst, but they are going back to basics. Water is one of the fastest-growing segments of the beverage industry, studies suggest, while sales for traditional fizzy drinks are on the decline. From 2009 to 2011, sales of regular soft drinks declined by 1.9% to $27 billion, according to a 2012 report from market research group Mintel. “It would seem that the category has seen its peak and is now retreating,” the study reported. (Consumers are choosing more low- and no-calorie beverages, says a spokesman for the American Beverage Association.)
The decline is part of a shift in consumer tastes. From 2001 to 2011, annual bottled-water consumption soared 56% to 26 gallons per person — the equivalent of 166 of those typical 20-ounce bottles — according to The Beverage Information Group and the U.S. Census. At the same time, annual soda consumption fell 16%, to 44 gallons (about 281 single-serving bottles) per person. Indeed, many soda makers now also own bottled-water brands. Coca-Cola owns Dasani, PepsiCo owns Aquafina, and Dr Pepper Snapple owns Deja Blue.
While fizzy-drink sales may have lost their fizz, soda isn’t going away any time soon. A decade ago, 80% of Americans consumed at least one such beverage every two weeks, says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst for market research firm NPD Group. Today, 72% continue to do so. “Soda is still a very popular part of the American diet,” he says. “More Americans drink soda than drink energy drinks and coffee.”…
[continues at MarketWatch]