America’s new love: Water

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However, the company added that it saw “great potential” for bottled water. Like its competitors, Coca-Cola said it’s focusing on growing its portfolio of bottled waters profitably by offering brands such as Smartwater and its flavored vitaminwater, which fetch higher prices.

In the meantime, the chairman and former CEO of Nestle Waters North America, Kim Jeffery, is waiting for bottled water’s moment in the spotlight. Nestle, the Swiss company that makes Poland Spring, Nestle Pure Life, Deer Park and other brands, has nearly half of the share of the bottled water market.

At a beverage industry conference late last year, Jeffery noted that bottled water is “the elephant in the room.”

And given the growing warnings over drinking too many calories _ including from juice, milk and other sugary drinks _ Jeffery said he’s confident that water will continue to grow in popularity.

“For thousands of years, water was beverage of choice for human beings,” he said. “Now we’re reverting back to that.”

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Follow Candice Choi at http://www.twitter.com/candicechoi

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