The West European water cooler market increased by 1.2% to 2.7 million units at the end of 2011, according to new research from drinks consultancy Zenith International.
In a number of countries across the region, cooler companies believe that the worst of the economic downturn is over and report stabilisation of the market.
The number of mains supplied point of use units, which had been showing double-digit rises before the economic downturn, slowed down to 8% growth in 2011.
Point of use continued to encroach on bottled coolers’ share to reach 40% of the total market. Bottled cooler placements continued to decline, although the losses eased compared with 2009 and 2010.
The UK remains the leading national market within West Europe, followed by Italy. Together they hold a share of over 41%. The Netherlands, Finland and Greece saw the largest overall declines, mainly driven by significant erosion in bottled cooler locations.
From a low base, Greece achieved the biggest increase in point of use units in the region, but penetration is still a long way from the average of 2.67 units per 1,000 people. For bottled coolers, Austria reported the largest growth in 2011.
Zenith’s water cooler analyst Iva Hatzold, said: “2012 will remain challenging for many national markets as a result of global economic pressures and heightened uncertainty.”
She added “nevertheless, the water cooler industry still has potential for growth, and from 2013, most markets are expected to return to healthier growth.”
Over the next five years, 430,000 additional machines are forecast to be installed across West Europe, taking the total to 3.1 million in 2016. Point of use is expected to advance towards a 50% share.
Source: Zenith International
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