Soft drink sales fizzle

CINCINNATI (FOX19/CNN) - Whether you refer to it as "soda" or "pop," Americans' love affair with soft drinks is fizzling. Sales are down more than 3 percent over last year.

It's even worse for diet soda, which tumbled more than 7 percent.

Americans have more choices these days: Juices, sports drinks, bottled tea, and flavored water.

But the decline also represents a shift in mentality. A lot of people are worried about the safety of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which are found in some diet drinks. So now, the industry is taking notice.

"The big beverage companies and the big ingredient companies, they've been doing a tremendous amount of research on Stevia and other sweeters," said John Sicher, the editor of Beverage Digest. "And I think 2014 and '15 are going to be big years of big news on that front.

Meanwhile, good ol' H20 is what many Americans are drinking. Water topped soda as the number one beverage in 2008 and has remained on top since then.