Soda sales falling flat as school add healthier drink options

Credit: MGNOnline.com

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Once sizzling soft drink sales are falling flat as fewer Americans are buying sodas than ever before.

Experts say the main reason more awareness of the health concerns associated with sugary drinks.

Cracking open your favorite soft drink comes with a nutritional price.

Christian Payne is a Nutrition student at UMass Amherst.

“I know that for the average 16 ounce soda, there are usually 16 packets of sugar. I have a lot of family members that actually suffer from diabetes, type 2, and it kind of steers me away from the whole added sugar consumption in my beverage.”

16 ounce bottle of soda has 128 calories and 44 grams, or 11 teaspoons of sugar.

At the UMass campus center dining common, soda shelf space is being taken over by flavored waters, smoothies and energy drinks.

UMass told 22News they are seeing much less soda being sold, which is why they made a conscious effort to install a fresh juice bar in the campus center where students can blend any combination of fruits or vegetable. It provides a healthier option.

“We are also seeing the first generation of students who come to the university who didn’t have soda machines in school. So you are really getting a round of people who don’t just always drink soda,” said Van Sullivan, the manager of campus center food services at UMass.

UMass student Patrick Hoff told 22News he’s not very calorie conscious.

“I’m not really concerned about living super long. Eventually in my life I’ll think more about sugar and what I’m putting in my body, but it’s not really a concern right now.”

It’s the 10th straight year soda sales have declined with the biggest decline being diet soda. Experts say it’s due to health concerns surrounding artificial sweeteners.

In case you’re wondering, Coke remains the most popular soda by a two to one margin. Pepsi is number two.

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