ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Findings from a survey recently conducted online by Harris Poll of over 2,000 U.S. adults, 18 years and older, for the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) revealed that the majority of consumers see water as a smart beverage choice and consider bottled water to be healthier than soft drinks, according to a press release.

The survey reported that 96 percent of Americans believe people should drink more water, stated the release.

The results of the poll, reported IBWA in the release, reflect hydration trends driving annual bottled water sales and increases in consumption, helping to illustrate why the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) predicts bottled water is on the track to becoming the “number one packaged beverage” in the U.S. by 2016.

The release noted that the survey also found that 86 percent of consumers already buy bottled water, with 73 percent purchasing bottled water from grocery stores and 42 percent from big box retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target.

“While there have been a few efforts made to restrict its availability, 92 percent [of participants in the study believe] bottled water should be available wherever other beverages are sold,” said IBWA Vice President of Communications Chris Hogan. “And, 55 percent said that bottled water was among their preferred beverages.”

You can find the release here.