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TRENDS: American Drinking Habits

We’re drinking less regular soda but more diet soda, bottled water and sports drinks. Some 68% of Americans drank regular soda in 2008, down from 76% in 2003, according to market research firm Mintel. The number of diet soda drinkers rose, with 7.8 million more adults reported drinking diet soda.

The greatest changes in Americans’ drinking habits have occurred outside the soft drink market, as consumers adopt healthier lifestyles.

Bottled Water: 24 million more Americans drank bottled water in 2008 than in 2003. One in three beverage-purchasing adults (34%) said they’re drinking more water and less carbonated beverages to manage weight, health conditions, or concern about high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Sixteen percent of respondents worry about the health risks of high-fructose corn syrup, while 15% say they’re drinking less artificially sweetened beverages because of risks.


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Energy Drinks: Driven by young adults, the number of energy drink users nearly doubled from 2003 to 2008 (to 34.5 million from 17.4 million).

Sports Drinks: In the past five years, 11 million adults started drinking sports drinks.

Mintel expects continued momentum in tea, coffee drinks and diet soda.

– Check out some of our favorite beverages—including regular sodas made with lower levels of real sugar, and all natural ingredients, and health and energy drinks.
– See THE NIBBLE’s Bottled Waters articles and reviews.

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