Bottled Water Group Report Sales Up 7.8%

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) of Alexandria, Va., in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) on March 31 released 2007 bottled water statistics showing sales and consumption continuing to rise as drinkers choose bottled water over other beverages.

BMC, a research, consulting, and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry, compiled the data.

In 2007, total bottled water volume was 8.8 billion gallons, a 6.9 percent increase over 2006, and the 2007 bottled water per capita consumption of 29.3 gallons increased nearly two gallons, from 27.6 gallons per capita the previous year.

The wholesale dollar sales for bottled water exceeded $11.7 billion in 2007, a 7.8 percent increase over the $10.8 billion in 2006.

Bottled water is a packaged food product that is comprehensively regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is subject to stringent standards for safety, quality, production, labeling, and identity. Along with the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which are required of all foods, bottled water must comply with several other applicable regulations, including a Standard of Identity, Standards of Quality, and additional, specific bottled water GMPs.

Being a packaged food product, bottled water is also bound by the full range of FDA protective measures designed to enforce product safety and protect consumers. States can also regulate bottled water inspections, sampling, analyzing and approving bottled water sources, and testing laboratory certification. As part of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, IBWA members voluntarily utilize the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) for a science-based approach to bottled water production and safety. FDA recognizes HACCP as a key component of food safety and consumer protection.

BMC continues to foresee bottled water surpassing carbonated soft drinks to become the largest beverage category by volume within the next five to seven years.

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