Lowering intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is being advocated as an obesity prevention strategy in Australia. The purpose of this study was to extend on previous reports of trends in national volume sales of SSBs. Data were extracted from commercially available datasets of beverage sales (AC Nielsen (1997–2011) and IRI Australia (2009–2018)). Linear regression was used to examine trends for the period 1997 to 2018. Per capita attribution of volume sales and sugar contribution was estimated by dividing by the Australian resident population for the relevant year. Per capita volume sales of SSBs fell 27%, from 83L/person to 61L/person, largely driven by declining sales of sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks (76 to 45L/person). Volume sales of non-SSB increased, from 48 to 88L/person, the largest contributor being pure unflavoured still waters (6 to 48L/person). Volume sales of non-SSBs have exceeded those of SSBs since 2015. The yearly contribution of SSBs to the sugar content of the national diet declined from 9.0 to 6.4kg/person. Major, long-term shifts are occurring in the market for non-alcoholic, water-based beverages in Australia, notably a fall in per capita volume sales of SSBs and an increase in volume sales of water. Both trends are consistent with obesity prevention strategies.
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