Despite slowdown, number of units installed advanced beyond 1.9 million
Growth in West Europe’s bottled water cooler market slowed to 2% in 2007, yet the number of units installed advanced beyond 1.9 million, thanks to sustained growth in Southern Europe, particularly Spain and Greece, according to new research from leading drinks consultancy Zenith International. Last year, 1.5 billion litres were sold through bottled coolers, generating an average throughput of 802 litres per unit.
"There were distinct variations in performance across the region with Austria, Greece and Spain sustaining double-digit growth while France, Norway and the United Kingdom suffered declines," commented Zenith Market Intelligence Director Gary Roethenbaugh. "These differences are partly linked to variable summer weather. Britain experienced widespread flooding in June and July. Greece and Italy benefited from a prolonged heat wave, breaking various maximum temperature records. Paradoxically, a surge in energy demand for air conditioning led certain electricity grids to collapse, rendering some water coolers ineffective for a time."
Another factor affecting national growth rates was market maturity. The United Kingdom and Scandinavia have well-established cooler industries, dating back some 20 years. This has led to an inevitable deceleration. With a combined 31% share, these countries have a significant impact on Europe's overall picture.
"The other major influence, particularly to the North and West, has been the rapid progress of plumbed-in point of use coolers," Roethenbaugh said.
Looking to the future, Zenith forecasts that West Europe bottled water coolers will pass the 2 million mark in 2009 and 2.25 million by 2012. Volume sales are expected to increase by 23% over the next five years to 1.85 billion litres. Spain could well overtake France as the second largest cooler market during this timescale.
The 2008 Zenith Report on West Europe Water Coolers contains 300 pages and includes 125 company profiles, full company rankings, 22 market overview tables and a detailed market commentary.