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Water Kicks Soda to the Curb to Become the Most Popular Drink in America

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If you’re in the water business, it’s time to break out the champagne and celebrate.

Water is once again the most popular drink in America, taking the fizz out of soda’s two-plus decade run on top.

Americans drink an average of 58 gallons of water per year, compared to 44 gallons of soda. That’s a stark contrast from soda’s high-water mark (no pun intended) in 1998 when people gulped down 54 gallons, while enjoying just 42 gallons of water. Things started to change in the late ’90s when health advocates started claiming soda had a lot to do with the growing obesity crisis in the country — a crisis that has led to some controversial decisions.

Bottled water has led the charge. People drink an average of 21 gallons of it each year, leaving 37 gallons a year for other kinds of H2O, such as tap, sparkling and flavored.

All’s not lost for soda, though: sales in the US top $75 billion annually, more than five times what bottled water brings in. So, at least there’s no thirst for profits.

[USA Today]

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