Industry News | November 19, 2013

Water Tops Beverage Choices for Adults, Not Youth

The NPD Group
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First Lady Michelle Obama recently embarked on a new campaign that encourages kids to drink more water, something they don’t do a lot of now, reports the NPD Group, a leading global information company. In launching her campaign, the First Lady referred to water as “the first and best energy drink,” and among adults, water is the top beverage consumed throughout the day, according to NPD food and beverage market research.

Many U.S. adult consumers begin their day with a cup of coffee but as the day goes on water plays a much more important role in satisfying their beverage needs. Starting with the snack occasion that occurs between breakfast and lunch, water, both tap/filtered and bottled, represents 46 percent of drinkings. Tap/filtered or bottled water is the top beverage at lunch and dinner, too, closely followed by soft drinks.

Children, on the other hand, are less likely to consume water, reports NPD. Tap/filtered water’s share of total drinkings is 26 percent at all meals, but it accounts for only 21 percent of drinkings among kids. One of the reasons for the difference between adults and kids is that kids are drinking more milk during their meals. Teenagers in particular are opting for regular, non-diet carbonated soft drinks in their meals—soft drinks’ share is 14 percent during all teen meals compared to 8 percent for all individuals.

Looking specifically at occasions between the main meals might be another reason why the First Lady is encouraging people to drink water. Kids are very likely to have fruit-type drinks, which often contains some sugar, during these times.

“Before this recent push to drink water, First Lady Michelle Obama focused on getting children to move more and burn more calories, and now the focus has shifted to avoiding some calories in the first place,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “Beverage companies and retailers can step up and support the effort by promoting the health benefits of drinking water and beverages with little or zero calories to parents and kids.”