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NEW YORK - By some estimates, bottled water will replace coffee and tea as the second largest beverage product category behind soft drinks in 2004. According to a report by MarketResearch.com, the bottled water market is currently experiencing a period of pronounced growth that shows little sign of slowing.
Potability and portability have both played an enormous role in this tremendous upswing in the demand for bottled water. The U.S. Market for Bottled and Enhanced Water states that consumer awareness about arsenic levels in the water supply, as well as concerns about municipal water purification programs, have created the publicly held perception that tap water is unsafe. The report also pinpoints portability as a growth factor in the market. The health benefits of drinking water have been well publicized in recent years, and more and more people are making it a habit to stay well-hydrated during the day, making bottled water a constant companion, and, in some cases, a fashion accessory.
"Consumer awareness is driving this market on many different levels," said Meg Hargreaves, vice president of research publishing for MarketResearch.com. "The public has questions about the quality of public water supplies and we are attuned to health and hydration issues. Drinking bottled water is an easy and convenient way to deal with both these concerns."