NEW YORK — With the bottled water category growing nearly 7% to reach $11,815.9 million in sales during 2012, The Beverage Marketing Corp. said the segment solidified its already prominent position in the U.S. beverage marketplace.

The B.M.C. also said the category may exceed 10 billion gallons in volume for the first time in 2013. The segment reached 9,674.3 million gallons in 2012, up more than 6% from the previous year. Per capital consumption reached nearly 31 gallons, up more than 5% from the previous year.

Prior to the recession, bottled water grew quickly in volume, but the category experienced declines in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the category experienced volume growth again, followed by more growth in 2011 and accelerating growth in 2012.

Domestic non-sparkling water is the largest segment within bottled water and represented 96% of total volume in 2012.

Retail bulk volume experienced setbacks during the year as more consumers chose PET multi-packs in larger-format retail channels instead of larger 1 gallon to 2.5-gallon sizes. In fact, retail bulk volume’s share has declined from nearly 25% of category volume in 2000 to slightly more than 10% in 2012 as the result of competition from PET. Overall, single-serve PET represents 65.1% of bottled water volume, direct-delivery/bulk represents 12.4%, retail 1 gallon to 2.5 gallon represents 10.3%, vending represents 8.3%, domestic sparkling represents 2.7% and imports represents 1.1%.