As sugary beverage sales decline, more consumers drink water to stave off hunger pangs

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Packaged Facts: More consumers drink water to stave cravings
Consumers are opting to drink water or no calorie beverages when hungry instead of eating food, a recent analysis by Packaged Facts’ says.

The rise of bubbly water and decline of sugary soda is hardly new, but Packaged Facts revealed some new takeaways from its recent report Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid​.

An overarching theme is that American households are cutting sugary soda intake to avoid both sugar and excess calories. The traditional route was to have a diet soda or opt for a low-calorie lunch like salad. “However in recent years, drinking water or low or no calories beverages when hungry rather than eating food has emerged as a trend with a considerable following,”​ Packaged Facts said.

Its data suggested that three out of four consumers are reducing their calorie intake by this method. Popular followers of this trend are older consumers, who are more likely to do this than younger consumers, as well as college graduates, high-income consumers, and women.

On the ballot: soda taxes, better water

In recent months, headlines of government activity (or inactivity) has helped shape the public opinion of beverage choices. The report highlighted the rise of bottled water sales in light of headline-making lead contamination in drinking water. “Bottled water is deemed by many to be a safer alternative—assuming marketers have been transparent about where their water is pumped from,”​ the report added.

Water marketers are experimenting with fizz, which is increasingly popular stateside​. Additionally, legislators around the country are proposing soda taxes to cities after Philadelphia passed its own sweetened beverage​ tax (which the beverage industry spent $10.6 million fighting​).

Fox News reported​ that San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany counties in California are slated to vote on a soda tax of a penny per ounce, while in Boulder, CO, the proposal is for a 2-cents-per-ounce tax.

“As governments move to impose higher taxes on sugary beverages, the industry inevitably does all that it can to resist,”​ Packaged Facts reported. “The sugary beverage companies are faced with consumers having to pay more for these products and the possibility of losing sales as a result.  Don’t be surprised to see a greater influx of flavored, sparkling and even caffeinated water.”

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