UK water cooler market rises to £140 million

April 22, 2019

Highlights (Source: Zenith 2019)

  • The 6th successive year of growth for the UK water cooler market
  • The value of the UK water cooler market in 2018 was £140 million
  • Revenue growth of 4.9% compared to 2017
  • Installed coolers grew by 2.2% year on year to reach 678,000 units

The UK water cooler market has seen its 6th successive year of growth, a new report shows.  The value of the UK water cooler market has reached the £140 million mark in 2018, Richard Hall of Zenith Global revealed at the British Water Cooler Association’s conference on Thursday 28th March. Last year the sector topped £133 million in value.

For the first time, as a benefit to BWCA Members, the conference delegates were presented with a sector report summary, produced especially for the Association. The full report is available from Zenith Global.

Point-of-use outstripped growth in BWC units for the second consecutive year in 2018, up 3% to a total of 323,000 units. Even though the market continued its move towards POU, the BWC market grew at a faster rate than in 2017, growing by 1.5% to 355,000 units. 

The Zenith Report comments: “A major factor behind this year’s growth was the hot summer weather. This has resulted in an increase in throughput and rising unit placements. Some market players reported that throughput was up over 30% for select locations in the summer months. Therefore, bottled water cooler volumes rose 4.0% to 326 million litres. Furthermore, the general consumer move towards water consumption and the current economic prosperity have also driven the growth”.

Looking to future opportunities for the sector, Zenith noted that, in the USA, 35% of water coolers are in the home whereas in the UK it is only 15%. Despite the higher quality of mains water in the UK, there is still seen to be a significant opportunity for growth in the residential sector – a potential which BWCA has noted in the past. The opportunity may come from the placement of under-sink products and compact water coolers rather than BWC or POU water coolers.

As predicted previously, another potential area for growth could be hospitality as restaurants are looking for alternatives to bottled water. In the past purified water filter machines have served this desire, but Zenith is noticing a trend towards restaurants wanting bespoke machines that allow them to provide a better product from a hygiene and aesthetic point of view.