What's the number-one item sold at the country's airports? Chewing gum? Us Weekly? Those oh-so-fashionable neck pillows?
Those aren't even in the top 10. According to Hudson Group, which has more than 950 stores (once known as Hudson News, now just Hudson) in airports and transportation terminals across the United States, five different brands and sizes of bottled water were the company's bestselling items in 2015. Diet Coke and Coca-Cola came in at numbers six and seven, respectively.
There's a simple explanation for the hydration domination, of course: thanks to airline liquid restrictions, once you get past security there's no way to slake your thirst without spending (well, you could try filling up a water bottle in the bathroom sink, but the stop-and-start motion-activated sensors on the faucets are going to make it take so long you're liable to miss your flight).
Rounding out Hudson's top 10 bestsellers: peanut M&Ms, Coke Zero, and The Wall Street Journal—wait, you can buy reading material at a newsstand?