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Survey Underscores Consumer Preference For Bottled Water

Posted On: 12/19/2017

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ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Sixty-three percent of Americans say still or sparkling bottled water is among their most preferred beverages, followed by 62% who say coffee is their drink of choice, according to a new national survey.

Fewer Americans (58%) say regular and diet soft drinks are among their most preferred drinks. Nearly all Americans (94%) believe that bottled water is a healthier choice than soft drinks, and 93% say bottled water should be available wherever drinks are sold, according to the survey results.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) of more than 3,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, also found that among those who have ever purchased bottled water, those who identify bottled water as among their most preferred beverages are more likely than those who identify soda as one of their most preferred beverages to recycle their containers.

"This poll is consistent with consumption figures released earlier this year that show, for the first time in history, bottled water is the No.1 packaged beverage in the United States by volume," said IBWA vice-president of communications Jill Culora.

Bottled water drinkers find many factors important when choosing a beverage, but taste (99%), quality (99%) and safety (92%) are at the top of their list. Bottled water drinkers also say that features like "ready to enjoy" (82%), "convenient packaging when on the go" (80%), and "resealable packaging" (74%) are important to them when choosing a beverage. Sixty-nine percent of bottled water drinkers say low calories are important when choosing a beverage, while 72% say the lack of artificial sweeteners is important.  

Nearly all Americans (99%) drink water -- tap, filtered or bottled; and among them, 33% drink both bottled water and tap/filtered water equally. Roughly 3 in 10 water drinkers (31%) drink only/mostly bottled water, including 16% who drink mostly bottled water and 15% who only drink bottled water. Over a third (35%) drink only/mostly tap or filtered water, including 23% who drink mostly tap or filtered water, and 12% who drink only tap or filtered water.

Eighty-two percent of Americans agree they should drink more water and 90% believe that bottled water is a healthy and convenient beverage.

Among those who ever purchase bottled water, bottled water drinkers are more inclined to recycle their (bottled water) containers than those who say soda is among their most preferred beverages, as they are more likely to say they always recycle bottled water containers at home (66% vs. 60%) and away from home (37% vs. 32%).

When asked about their general opinion of bottled water as a beverage choice, 86% of those polled had a "very positive" or "somewhat positive" opinion of bottled water, and women are significantly more likely than men to have a positive opinion (88% vs. 84%) as well as adults ages 18 to 44 compared to those ages 55-plus (91% vs. 81%). Only 14% of those surveyed have a "somewhat" or "very" negative opinion of bottled water as a beverage choice.