Perhaps the most incredible number: at an average cost of $1.22 per gallon, consumers are spending 300 times the cost of tap water to drink bottled water.
In fact, that number could be even higher, writes Colas in a note to clients.
“The [bottled water] industry grossed a total of $11.8 billion on those 9.7 billion gallons in 2012, making bottled water about $1.22/gallon nationwide and 300x the cost of a gallon of tap water,” Colas says. “If we take into account the fact that almost 2/3 of all bottled water sales are single 16.9oz (500 mL) bottles, though, this cost is much, much higher: about $7.50 per gallon, according to the American Water Works Association. That’s almost 2,000x the cost of a gallon of tap water and twice the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline.”
A few more stats, via Colas:
- Americans spent $11.8 billion dollars on bottled water in 2012, the latest data available from the BMC. This represented a 6.5% increase from 2011, during which the bottled water industry made $11 billion.
- That $11.8 billion was spent on nearly 9.7 billion gallons of water, putting the average cost at $1.22/gallon. 64% of this amount, however, was spent on single- the 16.9oz/500 mL container mentioned above which can push costs up to $7.50/gallon. American Water Works Association showed that tap water costs only $0.004 a gallon, less than 1/300 the cost of bottled water.
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