Water overtaking carbonates
It’s World Water day tomorrow and we’re now drinking it like never before. Earlier this month, the International Bottled Water Association declared that Americans were consuming more bottled water than carbonated soft drinks. Last week, Zenith issued forecasts indicating that water drinks would soon overtake carbonated soft drinks … in the United Kingdom. These are seismic shifts. Bottled water scarcely existed in these countries 40 years ago. Leading carbonated soft drinks brands remain the world’s most iconic. Our tastes are certainly changing. And our behaviours embrace more variety as well as contrasts between different occasions. Back in 1999, I wrote about bottled water as the optimum consumer product of the new millennium – natural, healthy, convenient, stylish and so much more. Less than 10 years later, I chaired a seminar with journalists challenging the very concept of bottles when taps provided all that was needed and no waste. The bottle had to prove its mettle by answering the critics and explaining its far lower environmental impact than other packaged beverages. But tomorrow, we should celebrate all water. And all beverages. They all hydrate and most of us would benefit from more hydration. So, salute, in all its senses.