La Croix Is Not America's Top Sparkling Water, According To A New Survey

Update 7/25/22: This story has been updated to include sales data about sparkling water.

The number of sparkling water brands in stores has expanded so much that this bubbly beverage now occupies almost an entire supermarket aisle. According to InsightAce Analytic, the global sparkling water industry is expected to reach a value of $67 billion by 2030. Fueled by consumers' urge to make healthy lifestyle choices, experts say demand for the product will continue to skyrocket, particularly in North America.

Soda sales hit their lowest numbers in 31 years in 2016, Fortune reported. Fruit juices and diet drinks also took hits at this time, making way for sparkling water and seltzer to dominate the beverage scene. National Beverage's sparkling water option, La Croix, saw an increase in popularity in 2010 partially because of its marketability on Instagram, per Setup. Then, between 2015 and 2017, sales rose from $646 million to $827 million. 

Now, though, the brand has a number of competitors to contend with — and it's no longer everyone's favorite bubbly beverage.

The top water travels from the Alps

La Croix may be the first brand name that comes to mind when you consider all of the sparkling water options. But a new Mashed poll suggests this beverage giant has been dethroned by another brand. According to the survey of 526 people, 154 voters preferred San Pellegrino sparkling water — that's 29.28% of voters. La Croix came in second with votes from 25.10% of participants. Survey respondents also gave nods to Bubly, Schweppes, and Waterloo, which came in last place with just 30 votes.

San Pellegrino has been around for more than 100 years, according to Forbes. It was founded in Italy and still sources its water from Bergamo, a town that's one hour away from Milan. All of the water sold by San Pellegrino embarks on a 30-year journey down the slopes of the Alps before it gets bottled in a factory. This nutrient-enriching process is said to give the water its distinctive flavor.

Still, sales data shows that La Croix and Sparkling Ice still lead the way in seltzer water sales. A March report from Food Business News shows that sparkling water sales increased between 2020 and 2021 and that Sparkling Ice and La Croix are two of the top seltzer brands, sales-wise. (In addition, a rep for La Croix tells Mashed that its sales outperform that of San Pellegrino.) But whatever brand you choose, sparkling water isn't going away anytime soon.