Bottled Water Consumption Growth Slows

Alice McKeown | Feb 25, 2010

Nearly 200 billion liters of bottled water were consumed worldwide in 2008.1 (See Figure 1.) Although the figure was up more than 5 percent over 2007, it marks a decline in the growth rate over previous years, which saw annual gains of 6–10 percent.2 The rise in per capita consumption also tapered off to a rate near 4 percent, reaching 30 liters per person.3 Most of the bottles sold contain non-sparkling water, which accounts for 90 percent of the total volume.4

The United States continues to lead the world in bottled water use, accounting for more than 16 percent of the global total.5 (See Figure 2.) However, consumption there contracted by 1 percent to reach 32.8 billion liters, the only decline in the last 10 years.6 Producers’ revenues also dropped, down 3.2 percent to $11.2 billion.7 Overall, though, their revenues have increased 83 percent since 2000.8

Elsewhere in the Americas, Mexico is now the second largest market in the world, with 24.6 billion liters or 12 percent of the global total in 2008.9 And Brazil is the fourth largest, at 14.2 billion liters and 7 percent of the global total.10

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