Trends in Store-Level Sales of Sugary Beverages and Water in the U.S., 2006–2015

Pasquale E. Rummo, Nam Pho, Marie A. Bragg, Christina A. Roberto, Brian Elbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Previous research on sugar-sweetened beverage trends has focused on self-reported consumption from surveys. Few studies used objective store sales or explored differences by area-level demographics and store type. Methods: The average volume of beverages sold per store per 3-digit zoning improvement plan code from 2006 to 2015 was calculated using national Nielsen Retail Scanner point-of-sale data from 24,240 stores. A multilevel regression model analyzed annual trends, with random intercepts for state and separate models for beverage type (regular soda, no/low-calorie soda, other sugary drinks, 100% fruit juice, bottled water). Differences by store type (convenience, supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers) and area-level demographics (categorized as tertiles) were examined. Data were analyzed in 2019. Results: The model-based estimates indicated that sales of regular soda (−11.8%), no/low-calorie soda (−19.8%), and 100% fruit juice (−31.9%) decreased over time, whereas sales of bottled water (+34.4%) increased and sales of other sugary drinks remained stable (+2.4%). Decreases in sugar-sweetened beverage sales were largely concentrated in supermarkets and larger in areas with high income and education levels and a high percentage of black and Hispanic people. There were also relatively larger increases in bottled water sales in states located in the South and Midwest. Conclusions: The finding that sales of sugar-sweetened beverages decreased over time, whereas sales of bottled water increased is encouraging because sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is linked to obesity and other chronic conditions. This study provides a novel, rigorous assessment of U.S. beverage sales trends and differences by community and store characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-529
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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