NEW YORK — Total bottled water volume grew 3.6% globally in 2019 to 14.35 billion gallons from 13.85 billion gallons in 2018, according to data released May 19 by Beverage Marketing Corp. Annual per capita consumption of 43.7 gallons in 2019 was up 3.1% from 42.4 gallons. Sales of $19.4 billion were up 5.7% from $18.4 billion in 2018.

Carbonated soft drink volume slipped 0.8% to 12.07 billion gallons in 2019 from 12.17 billion the previous year. Per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks dropped 1.5% to 36.8 gallons from 37.3 gallons in 2018. Fruit beverage volume in 2019 declined 2.5% to 2.86 billion gallons from 2.94 billion.

Per capita soft drink consumption regularly exceeded 50 gallons at the turn of the century. Beverage Marketing Corp. expects the bottled water category to reach that level by the middle of this decade.

“Bottled water’s rapid rise happened at the same time consumers started demanding healthier forms of rehydration and refreshment, and it was largely responsible for that change in preferences,” said Michael C. Bellas, chairman and chief executive officer of the Beverage Marketing Corp. “Affordable, convenient and portable bottled water is suitable for virtually any usage occasion at any time of day. It became the preferred beverage both for anyone looking for an all-natural refreshment beverage and for anyone reducing calories or avoiding artificial sweeteners.”

Bottled water chart

The bottled water category has increased every year for a decade. Declines in 2008 and 2009 came in a difficult financial period that saw many beverage categories decline.

Single-serving sizes account for a majority of the bottled water category’s volume. The single-serve segment increased more than 4% in 2019 to reach almost 10.1 billion gallons. Most other segments, including home and office delivery, sparkling water and imports, also registered growth.

New York City-based Beverage Marketing Corp. is a research, consulting and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry.