After years of steady growth, the US market for bottled water appears to be cooling off, the Worldwatch Institute reported Monday.
Worldwatch's Ben Block cites a report [.doc] from the Beverage Marketing Corporation that projects the US market to grow 6.7 percent this year, the smallest increase in this decade. In 2007, the market grew by 6.9 percent, the second-smallest increase.
These slowing growth figures do little to reverse the remarkable rise that the industry has seen in recent years. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation report, in 2002 the average American consumed 20.1 gallons of bottled water. By 2007 that figure had risen to 29.3 gallons, an increase of almost 46 percent.
And globally, bottled water's popularity continues to grow. Global consumption reached nearly 50 billion gallons last year, up from about 34.5 billion gallons in 2002.
According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the US is ninth in the world in per capita consumption, after the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Italy, Belgium-Luxembourg (the report combines the two countries), France, Germany, Spain,, and Lebanon. Of these countries only France has seen a decline in consumption since 2002.