What A Chart Of Bottled Water Tells You About The US Economy

We were just perusing Citi’s latest: U.S. Drinks and Snacks Digest, which provides an overview of the snacks market for 2011.

This chart of bottled water sales really popped out.

Three things stand out:

  • That was a big spike in sales from 2006-2007. Bottled water is one of those items that we don’t really need, so this is classic bubble behaviour.
  • Also, dollars sales of bottled water have not reached their 2007 highs, but volume has, suggesting a mix away from “premium” water to generic brands

Photo: Citi

And in fact this second chart shows that more clearly. All the premium brands have lost share to the private labels.

So while Americans quickly went back for bottled water once the economy rebounded, they had the sense to not pay through the nose.


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