What are the most popular beverages available in the United States in the late 1990s? By far the volume leader is carbonated soft drinks, with a per capita consumption of more than 55 gal per year and growing. They are also the largest single category in retail dollars, estimated at more than $50 billion. Tap water may be second in volume, but declining and contributing negligible dollar sales. Beer is in third place, with steady annual volume of about 22 gal per person, followed by coffee, milk, bottled water, juice, and tea, in that order. The fastest growing segment is bottled water.
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