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Americans Are Finally Drinking More Water Than Soda

Americans Are Finally Drinking More Water Than Soda

Despite the obesity epidemic still holding strong in America, healthy eating and drinking trends have continued to gain steam. For the first time ever, Americans will buy more bottled water than carbonated drinks.

Source: Bloomberg

The largest producers of bottled water in the U.S. — Nestle SA (ADR) (OTC: NSRGY), The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO), PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) — have pointed to a few reasons for this shift in consumption.

Related Link: Emerging Market Woes Overshadow Coca-Cola's Q2 EPS Beat

On the one hand, consumers are moving toward healthier, calorie free, convenient hydration options, like bottled water, and away from sodas — soda consumption hit a 30-year low in 2015. On the other hand, Americans are increasingly scared to drink tap water, Bloomberg reported.

Plumbing Issues

Lead contamination scandals in Flint, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C., have put the infrastructure issue in the spotlight. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than $380 billion should be invested in order to preserve and/or replace key parts of the current water infrastructure — and, of course, this does not look attainable.

Of course, lead contamination is not the only environmental problem linked to this news. The impact of bottled water on the environment is also huge, not only because less than half of the plastic bottles are ever recycled, but also because, according the Pacific Institute, making these containers requires three times as much water as they actually contain.

“Bottled water might be a band-aid solution for situations like Flint,” John Stewart, deputy director of Corporate Accountability International said. “But it is definitely not a long-term solution for providing daily drinking water needs.”

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.


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