Soda wars turn to another front, sparkling waters

THINKSTOCK
THINKSTOCK

NEW YORK (AP) — The soda wars appear to be shifting at least in part to another corner of the beverage industry — sparkling, flavored waters.

A report released Monday shows U.S. soda sales fell at an accelerated pace last year, extending a streak of declines that began in 2005. But Americans are apparently developing a taste for another type of sweet, carbonated beverage.

Last year, a small brand called Sparkling Ice saw sales more than double to $302.4 million from the previous year, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. That is still a tiny fraction of the broader soda industry but represents striking growth from 2009, when sales were just $2.7 million.

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