“Despite organized anti-bottled-water campaigns across the country and a noisy debate about bottled water’s environmental impact, Americans are buying more bottled water than ever.
In 2011, total bottled water sales in the U.S. hit 9.1 billion gallons — 29.2 gallons of bottled water per person, according to sales figures from Beverage Marketing Corp.
The 2011 numbers are the highest total volume of bottled water ever sold in the U.S., and also the highest per-person volume.
Translated to the handy half-liter size Americans find so appealing, that comes to 222 bottles of water for each person in the country — four bottles of water for every man, woman and child, every week.
Indeed, bottled water sales aren’t just growing — it’s fair to say they’re booming. Volume increased by 4.1 percent in 2011 — five times as fast as the 0.9 percent growth in the sales of beverages overall, according to Beverage Marketing. Bottled water sales, in fact, are growing twice as fast as the economy itself.
“Americans are drinking more bottled water because they find it convenient, appealing and also healthy,” says Gary Hemphill, who is managing director for information services at Beverage Marketing, and a longtime observer of bottled water and beverage sales in the U.S. and around the world.”
Read more: National Geographic