Renewed optimism in the West Europe water cooler market

Bill Bruce17 Aug 2011

© Zenith International

The West European water cooler market stood at 2.69m units at the end of 2010, according to new research from Zenith International.

After a challenging couple of years, hampered by the global economic downturn, companies in a number of countries are reporting revived interest from households as well as businesses.

The number of plumbed-in mains water coolers (point of use) units surged by 8% in 2010, topping the 1m mark and taking their share of the total to 38%. These gains, however, were insufficient to offset bottled water cooler losses, resulting in an overall 0.3% decline.

“The industry is in a much better position than a year ago,” says Zenith senior market analyst Charmaine Holmes. “The difficult economic climate forced companies to improve efficiencies and returns. Losses have now slowed."

The UK remains the leading national market within West Europe, followed by Italy. Together, they hold a 40% share. 2010 saw distinct variations in performance across the region, with Austria, Italy and Belgium the strongest performers, while Greece, Ireland and Spain suffered the largest declines.

“Industry associations are now firmly embracing the notion of ‘one industry, two solutions’, reflecting the movement towards the dual offering of bottled water coolers and point of use (POU), particularly in the north and west of the region,” adds Charmaine Holmes.

Looking to the future, Zenith forecasts that, during the next five years, nearly 500,000 extra coolers will be installed across West Europe, taking the combined installed base to around 3.2m in 2015, with the share of POU expected to surpass 45%.

In response to client requests, a full UK country profile has been included for the first time, instead of being issued as a separate report. This brings the number of countries profiled to 16.

Source: Zenith International