Domestic, non-sparkling water is the largest and strongest segment of the U.S. bottled water market.
In 2019, bottled water ranked as the largest beverage category by volume in the United States for the fourth consecutive year, following a remarkable, more than decades-long streak of vigorous growth.
According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), total bottled water volume grew from 13.8 billion gallons in 2018 to 14.4 billion gallons in 2019, an increase of nearly 4 percent. Apart from a couple of small reductions during the Great Recession years of 2008 and 2009, years when most other beverage categories also contracted due to the financial crisis, bottled water volume has increased every year from 1977 to 2019.
The sustained growth in per capita consumption indicates that consumers see bottled water as a healthy alternative to other packaged beverages. In 2019, per capita of bottled water consumption approached 44 gallons in 2019, while average intake of carbonated soft drinks dipped below 37 gallons. Consistent with that data, sales revenues for the U.S. bottled water market in 2019 were $19.4 billion in wholesale dollars, a 5.6% increase over the previous year.
Nearly all of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is sourced domestically. In fact, imported bottled water accounts for only 1.9% of the U.S. market. The vast majority of bottled water companies in the U.S. are small, community-based companies using local water sources and distributing their products within an average radius of 300 miles from their bottling facilities.