Wondering about the best bet for the beverage vending machine? Bet on bottled water again this year, as it continues to enjoy robust sales and market growth. A 2015 report from market research firm Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) shows that the consumption of bottled water jumped over seven percent last year to a record high of 10.9 billion gallons; that’s 34 gallons per capita!
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles of still water(plain water) remain dominant in the market, with a growth rate of 6.2 percent. But it’s the sparkling and mineral water segment that has shown the most growth: 16.2 percent through July 2015. Tellingly, market research firm Canadean predicts that within the next four years, packaged water will overtake carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) as the highest volume beverage category.
The decline in carbonated soft drinks is part of a ten-year downward trend in the consumption of traditional sodas. As we have shared on our blog, both regular and diet sodas have been tied to significant problems, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and a higher risk of strokes. Greater awareness of the health risks of excessive soda-drinking, whether diet or full-sugar, has driven consumers away from CSDs and toward bottled waters.
The same health-consciousness that has reduced soda consumption has prompted the rise of flavored, enhanced, and functional waters. Many flavored waters now boast only a touch of flavor, as opposed to earlier iterations that contained almost as much sugar or sweetener as a traditional carbonated soft drink. Consumers are favoring lighter flavors with no added sugar or sweetener: truly the equivalent of dropping a slice of lemon or cucumber into a bottle of water. Functional waters, on the other hand, contain ingredients like electrolytes or vitamins that provide an extra health benefit.
When planning what beverages to make available to employees, make sure to take these trends into account; fewer sodas and more waters are the wave of the future.