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Soda Sales Sink and Bottled Water Soars

Soda Sales Sink and Bottled Water Soars
One 20 oz. Coca-Cola has more than 30
cubes of sugar in a single container.

Bottled water is coming close to beating out sales of soda. A report from Beverage Marketing showed that while carbonated beverage sales have fallen 16% from the year 2000 to 2015, bottled water has grown by 120%. To understand how much water that is, it's estimated that in the year 2000, approximately 4.7 billion gallons of bottled water was consumed. In 2015 that number had risen to 11.7 billion gallons of water.

It's a small sliver of good news in the fight against obesity.

The health benefits of switching from soda to water are staggering. If you drink just one, 20-ounce bottle of Classic Coke every day for a year, you will consume 87,235 calories. It's all the sugar an average person should consume, every day before anything healthy is added in. Drinking water instead of that soda could help you take off almost 25 pounds in a year, and you wouldn't have to change anything else in your life.

The bad news for the soda companies is that they haven't been able to lock-in customers to their specific brands. It's easy to find people who will argue the differences between Sprite and 7-Up or Coke and Pepsi; but very few people are passionate about the differences between Aquafina (owned by Pepsi) or Dasani (owned by Coca-Cola).

Without consumer loyalty, the profit margins on bottled water are much slimmer than soda. In fact, the top-selling bottled water isn't any of the national brands, it's "other." That's the generic water sold by supermarkets and warehouse chains. That means you're going to see companies try to do more to make their products stand out.

Coca Cola invested in Glacéau SmartWater, made by "vapor distilling water" and then they, "one-up mother nature by adding in electrolytes for a clean crisp taste." Other companies are selling water harvested from trees or water packaged in environmentally friendly containers. It's great marketing, but unless you live somewhere like Flint, Michigan (where the water is contaminated) it's an extraordinary waste of money.

One of the fascinating facts Beverage Marketing revealed was that bottled water consumption ALREADY exceeds the amount of water people drink from the tap. The cost differences between the two are astronomical.

Think about this. If you buy a 99 cent bottle of water and drink it, you will have spent 99 cents. Now walk over to your faucet and fill that bottle up. You would have to keep refilling that bottle 1,740 more times before it cost you 99 cents. So it's your choice. Spend $1,722.60 on bottled water, or 99 cents refilling your glass from the tap.

That doesn't even take into consideration the environmental impact of all the oil needed to make the plastic bottles, the trees cut down for the shipping crates or the gas consumed trucking the bottles around the country.

The amazing part is that as of 2012, according to the Beverage Marketing Association, 47% of all bottled water is nothing more than purified tap water. Despite the pictures of soaring mountains, towering glaciers and pure mountain streams, almost half of the stuff that comes in bottles is from a tap just like the water in your home. Don't waste money paying other people to fill your bottles.

Invest in three or four good washable water bottles. I prefer the ones you can throw in the dishwasher. Then buy a good reverse osmosis filter for the faucet. Fill the bottles up and store them in the refrigerator. When you want a drink, a cold bottle is right within reach. You'll save yourself an enormous amount of money, help the environment and live a healthier life. Give it a try.

For more information on the health effects of sugary sodas, there's an organization called Kick the Can (http://www.kickthecan.info). They have educational resources, fact sheets, campaign planning tools and links to events held around the country. If you're trying to quit, it's a great resource. 

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.