Sales of bottled water continue to grow as consumers reach for more and more of the stuff off of the shelf.

According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation in New York, per capita consumption of bottled water hit 22.6 gallons in 2003. That’s an increase of 1.4 gallons of water per person compared to 2002.

Carbonated soft drinks still lead all beverages in terms of volume sales and per capita consumption, however sales there have been flat the past few years. In comparison, bottle water consumption has doubled in the last decade and is now the second largest commercial beverage category in the U.S. on a volume basis.

Food Processing magazine