CHICAGO — Americans continue to forgo carbonated soft drinks in favor of healthier alternatives like bottled water, energy drinks and sports drinks, according to a recent Mintel report.
It found that the soft drink market lost 15.6 million adult drinkers between 2003 and 2008, with 68% of respondents in 2008 saying they drank regular soda, down from 76% in 2003. During the same period, diet soda drinkers grew by 78 million.
"Regular soda has taken the brunt of criticism from America's obesity and health issues, because people associate it with 'empty' calories and artificial ingredients," said Krista Faron, senior analyst at Mintel, in a statement. "As health and wellness awareness grows, more people are turning away from old-fashioned pop and looking for healthier, lower calorie drinks, as well as drinks that offer the functionality to meet their specific lifestyle needs."
Twenty-four million more Americans drank bottled water in 2008 than in 2003, while the number of those consuming energy drinks nearly doubled during the same time period, from 17.4 million to 34.5 million. During the past five years, 11 million adults started drinking energy drinks.
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