The Eastern European water cooler market edged closer to 2 million units installed at the end of 2015, a rise of just 0.5% on 2014, according to a new report published today by consultancy firm Zenith International.
Water sales volumes through bottled water coolers and dispensers or pumps also increased by 0.5% to reach 2.2 billion litres. The share of water sales through coolers is now 12% of total bottled water consumption, compared with just 4% in 1999, Zenith said.
But despite the figures, the consultants also forecast that the total market will reach close to 2.2 million units by 2020, with mains-fed expected to represent the fastest-growing segment in the water cooler market.
In 2015, Russia remained Eastern Europe’s biggest cooler market with 41.1% of units and 43.4% of volume, followed by Poland and Ukraine. These countries represent the top three in both the bottled and dispenser segments.
Romania and Poland are the leading players in the mains-fed segment. Together they hold a joint share of 70%, with Hungary in third place controlling only 7.9% of the market.
“2015 growth was lower than in 2014 and some countries fell back, due to economic and political pressures causing more caution by businesses and consumers,” said Zenith market analyst Iuliana Boda. “Russia achieved the greatest number of total new unit placements, with 19,000 more installed over the course of 2015, but that was less than half the total for 2014. Romania came second with nearly 6,500 and Bulgaria third with over 1,500. Ukraine’s numbers contracted by 7.4%. Five other countries – Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia – also saw declines in 2015.”
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