West Europe Cooler Market Back to Growth, Says Drinks Consultancy

Zenith Intl. recently released new research about the water cooler and bottled cooler markets

bottled water

The western European water cooler market increased by 1.2% to 2.7 million units at the end of 2011, according to new research from drinks consultancy Zenith Intl. In a number of countries across the region, cooler companies believe that the worst of the economic downturn is over and report stabilization of the market.

The number of mains supplied point-of-use (POU) units, which had been showing double-digit rises before the economic downturn, slowed down to 8% growth in 2011. POU continued to encroach on bottled coolers’ share to reach 40% of the total market. Bottled cooler placements continued to decline, although the losses eased compared with 2009 and 2010.

The United Kingdom remains the leading national market within West Europe, followed by Italy. Together they hold a share of more than 41%. The Netherlands, Finland and Greece saw the largest overall declines, mainly driven by significant erosion in bottled cooler locations.

From a low base, Greece achieved the biggest increase in POU units in the region, but penetration is still a long way from the average of 2.67 units per 1,000 people. For bottled coolers, Austria reported the largest growth in 2011.

According to Zenith’s water cooler analyst, Iva Hatzold, “2012 will remain challenging for many national markets as a result of global economic pressures and heightened uncertainty … nevertheless, the water cooler industry still has potential for growth, and from 2013, most markets are expected to return to healthier growth.”

Over the next five years, 430,000 additional machines are expected to be installed across western Europe, taking the total to 3.1 million in 2016. POU is expected to advance toward a 50% share.

A full UK country profile has been included in the report for a second consecutive year, instead of being issued separately. This brings the number of countries profiled to 16.

Zenith Intl.

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