The US water cooler market expanded to nearly 7 million units installed at the end of 2015, according to a new report from food and drinks consultancy Zenith International.
It marks the sixth consecutive year that US cooler sales have grown, with volume up 5% on 2014. The market remains dominated by bottled water coolers, Zenith said, taking a 78% share of total installations in 2015.
The market for mains-fed water coolers is still emerging, but enjoyed favourable growth again in 2015, increasing 9% to 1.5 million units. This growth has been driven, in part, by mains-fed’s positioning as a more environmentally friendly and low-maintenance alternative to bottled water coolers, and provides opportunity for mains-fed cooler suppliers. In 2015, the segment represented a 22% share of total placements, up from 16% in 2010.
In terms of distribution, there has been a consistent move away from home-and-office delivery over the past five years, with rising sales in the retail and online channels. As bottled water coolers are easier to purchase and set up than mains-fed water coolers, the trend is more visible in this segment, with home-and-office delivery representing 82% of bottled water cooler sales in 2015, down from 91% in 2010.
“Fuelled by gradual economic recovery, environmental concerns, healthier hydration interest and convenience, the water cooler market continued to expand in 2015,” commented Zenith market intelligence director Esther Renfrew. “Mains water coolers are expected to grow by high single-digit rates to approach 30% of the market in the next five years. Placements of bottled water coolers are also forecast to increase, albeit at a slower pace.”
Zenith forecasted that the total cooler market will surpass 8 million units by 2020. This marks an increase of 16% on the current level and a projected overall annual growth rate of around 3%.
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