Bottled Water Market
Bottled water is currently the second largest beverage category by volume in the United States, behind carbonated soft drinks (CSDs). However, the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) predicts that bottled water will surpass CSDs to become the number one beverage in America by early 2017.
According to BMC, in 2015 the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States was 11.7 billion gallons, a 7.6% increase from 2014. That translates into an average of 36.3 gallons per person.
The continued increase in per capita consumption indicates that consumers see bottled water as a healthy alternative to other packaged beverages. Consistent with this view, sales revenues for the U.S. bottled water market in 2015 were $14.2 billion in wholesale dollars, a 8.7% increase over the previous year.
Nearly all of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is sourced domestically. In fact, imported bottled water accounts for only 1% of the U.S. market. The vast majority of bottled water companies in the U.S. are small, community-based companies using local water sources and distributing their products within an average radius of 300 miles from their bottling facilities.
Despite the bottled water industry's size, the amount of water actually sold is relatively tiny, compared to tap water volumes. U.S. public water systems supply more than 1 billion gallons of tap water an hour, every hour of the day.
The total amount of bottled water Americans buy in one year would only supply U.S. tap water needs from midnight until 9 a.m. on January 1.