The UK water dispense market, which includes bottled water coolers, mains-fed water dispensers and integrated tap systems, grew to record levels in 2021, according to new research by food and drink experts Zenith Global. Overall revenue jumped 13% to £184 million and the number of units installed increased by 5% to 785,000 in December.
“Both these figures are higher than in any previous year,” commented Zenith Global Chairman Richard Hall. “It is all the more remarkable, because 75% of units are installed in workplaces and 2021 was substantially held back by lockdowns alongside greater acceptance of flexible working from home.
“Moreover, there was no let up in the intensity of competition, but the industry clearly had to recover increased costs, exacerbated by some supply chain disruption,” he continued.
Mains-fed water dispensers are now the largest segment by unit numbers, with 345,000 at the end of the year, 44% of the total. Bottled water dispensers have grown more slowly to 330,000 and now hold a 42% unit share, but remain the biggest segment by value. Integrated tap systems had the strongest growth uplift, reaching 110,000 units and a 14% share.
Compared with 9% growth over the past 5 years, Zenith Global is forecasting 8% growth over the next 5 years to 2026, taking the sector to 850,000 units.
“Water dispensers have become an established workplace expectation that improves staff health and well-being as well as providing the chance encounters and conversations that only a workplace can provide. The environmental argument for reusable or no bottles and for reusable cups is also a strength, but one whose influence has been limited so far,” concluded Richard Hall.
Jon Wicks, Chairman of the Water Dispenser & Hydration Association added: “It is encouraging to see the positive recovery in our marketplace and we hope that, with the lifting of restrictions, we can maintain the growth trajectory.”
Full details of the Zenith UK Water Dispense Market Report, containing market commentary, segment analysis and company rankings, are available at www.zenithglobal.com/market-insights/reports or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.