FoodBev spoke to Watercoolers Europe’s (WE) chair Marzia Mariotti who highlighted the evolving trends and innovations in the water cooler industry, ahead of next week’s event in Vienna.
What’s trending in the water cooler industry at the moment?
The water cooler industry is shifting towards using more sustainable materials and technologies. This includes the use of biodegradable cups, mains-connected dispensers that reduce the use of plastic bottles and energy-efficient cooling technologies.
Health and wellness aspects, such as touchless dispensers and water purification technologies, are also gaining importance.
Have you witnessed any particularly exciting innovations in the water cooler industry recently?
Innovations in the water cooler industry often focus on sustainability and convenience. For example, some companies are working on Internet of Things-enabled chillers that monitor water usage and quality, making it easier for companies to efficiently manage their water dispensers. Additionally, there have been developments in water purification technology that provide cleaner and safer drinking water.
Why are events such as WE important?
Events like WE’s Conference and Trade Fair are significant because they bring together water industry experts, companies and stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities. These events provide a platform for knowledge sharing, networking and showcasing new technologies and solutions for the watercooler market.
They are also important moments because the working committees – which are the beating heart of the association – meet because the strategies for the market are developed at their tables. It is, in fact, important to underline that the association plays a crucial role in the control of European legislation on water from which all associations of individual nations can benefit.
What more can companies in the water cooler industry do to enhance their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities?
Companies in the water cooler industry can enhance their ESG activities by implementing water and energy-efficient technologies, reducing plastic waste and sourcing sustainable materials. Moreover, promoting social responsibility, as supporting local communities, fostering diversity and inclusion in their workforce and ensuring safe working conditions.
What’s next for the industry?
I think the water cooler industry will continue to evolve towards sustainability and innovation and I expect to see more advanced water filtration systems, eco-friendly materials and the integration of smart technologies into water coolers. Additionally, as environmental concerns increase, the industry may shift toward more responsible sourcing and waste reduction practices. Public awareness of the importance of clean water and the impact of plastic waste will likely continue to drive industry changes.