Beverages: What we are purchasing is changing, but what are the implications?

According to a recent report on by The Wall Street Journal, American’s beverage purchasing patterns have been changing. Soda, juice, milk, beer, and powdered drink (e.g. instant breakfasts, iced teas, chocolate mixes, and protein shakes) sales have all declined since 2001. Interestingly, bottled water purchases have increased from about 17 gallons to 26 gallons per American over the same timeframe.

The Atlantic also covered this topic and provided this graph illustrating the nation’s beverage purchasing changes during the 10 year period from 2001-2011 :

While this may seem promising, what are the implications environmentally? How does would this change the perception of the general public towards tap water? Do you believe that this shift may impact our health as a nation? Is it too soon to tell?

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2 thoughts on “Beverages: What we are purchasing is changing, but what are the implications?

  1. This is an interesting report of our changing beverage purchasing trends, and the article suggests that Americans are making healthier beverage choices due to the reduction in soft drink sales, and the increase in bottled water sales….but I wonder if the increase in new types of sweetened beverages available in the marketplace is what is impacting soft drink sales? Are people choosing for example, bottled sweetened tea drinks or juice drinks, rather than soft drinks? The types of drinks we can buy in our local stores has changed so dramatically in the past ten years… would be great to see healthier beverage consumption trends but is that really what is happening?

    • Thanks for the comment! This is such a valid point that needs to be addressed. Throughout my readings I have not come across a report that specifies what constitutes each beverage category and there are discrepancies. For example, in the report linked in the post above, tea sales include iced teas, but powdered iced teas are also mentioned under “Powdered drinks.” There is no mention if these iced teas are sugar-sweetened or not in both instances. Maybe this is just considered being a “picky scientist.” :)

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