The value of the UK water dispenser market grew 2.3% to reach £192 million in 2019, a seventh consecutive year of growth, according to the latest UK Water Dispense report from market research firm Zenith Global.
According to the report, the total number of installed bottled water dispensers, point-of-use/mains-fed units and integrated tap systems across the UK rose 1.9% to 870,600 units.
While the market share of point-of-use units and integrated tap systems continues to increase, bottled water dispensers still generate 59.1% of revenue in the UK water dispenser market, accounting for £113.4 million in 2019.
Despite bottled water dispenser revenues accounting for the majority of the UK market, point-of-use revenues increased most significantly in 2019, as the segment registered a 10.9% increase to £31.8 million.
Zenith’s report projects that the UK water dispenser market will continue expanding up to 2024 with a forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7%, predicting that the UK market will reach almost 950,000 installed dispenser units by this time.
One of the key projections made by the report is that 2021 will be the year that point-of-use units overtake bottled water dispensers in terms of UK market share.
However, a significant unknown factor for all current market predictions is the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic. Most water dispense units are in places of work, and that could lead to a dip in 2020 before growth resumes.
Commenting on the findings of this year’s report, Zenith Global chairman Richard Hall said: “Bottled water dispensers add more value because they involve bottle sales as well as unit rentals. Plastic, however, is a growing challenge for the industry.
“Water cooler bottles are re-used many times and that brings environmental advantages. Single-use plastic cups are cheaper than compostable and refillable alternatives. Refillability has become an important feature of the dispense market over the last two years.”
A summary of the report is being circulated to all members of the Water-dispenser & Hydration Association (WHA), a partner association of Refreshment magazine.
WHA chairman Jon Wicks said: “Covid-19 is causing widespread illness and hardship in the UK and throughout the world. However, proper hydration remains essential to us all.
Members of the WHA continue to provide customers in the food supply chain and key industries with safe and hygienic water, albeit with strict delivery protocols.
“The WHA continues to monitor the situation and will provide members with support both now and in future months.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019