A new report from food and drink consultancy Zenith Global has found that the UK water cooler market has experienced its sixth consecutive year of growth, as in 2018, the value of the market reached £140 million, a rise of 4.9% when compared with 2017’s £133 million figure.
The UK’s total installed cooler base grew 2.2% to 678,000 units, and the growth of the market over the course of the year was driven by both POU (mains fed) and bottled water cooler (BWC) unit placements.
POU outstripped growth the growth of BWC units for the second consecutive year in 2018, up 3% to a total of 323,000 units, though the BWC market did grow at a faster rate than in 2017, rising 1.5% to 355,000 units.
Zenith’s report claimed that the hot summer weather in the UK – the hottest late spring and summer in the country since 1929 – was one of the major contributing factors to the growth of the market, while the continuing interest in calorie-free hydration was another contributing factor.
This growth is projected to continue in the years to 2023, and Zenith Global chairman and founder Richard Hall said: “The UK water cooler market is set to continue growing by close to 2% a year. We forecast 742,000 units will be in operation by 2023, with bottled water throughput per cooler reaching 980 litres. Mains coolers are likely to gain further share towards 50% of the total”.
The figures were revealed at the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) Conference and Trade Show 2019, and Jon Wicks, BWCA chairman, said: “I am proud of the continued growth and success that our sector continues to deliver. This is in some measure due to high professional standards maintained by the work of the British Water Cooler Association.”
Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, general manager of the BWCA, added: “We are pleased to see this continuing growth for the sector. However, the uncertainty around Brexit – which we had expected to be nearing a resolution by the time of this conference – may undermine confidence, and for all of us, the level of economic prosperity is impossible to judge at present.
“The sugar tax which was introduced last year – and announced on the day of the BWCA conference in 2018 – has enabled the BWCA and businesses to underline their positive health credentials.
“In addition, cooler companies have been able to take advantage of the increasing move away from single-use plastics as people recognise the sustainability benefits of coolers, which either use mains water or containers that are reused up to 50 times before being recycled.”
More information on the report and all the latest news from the water, coffee and vending industries can be found in the digital edition of Refreshment magazine. Start your subscription today.
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