Figures underline WHA members’ commitment to sustainability
The UK water dispense industry beat its pre-covid performance in 2022, according to the latest UK Water Dispense Market report from Zenith Global. The report was presented at the Water Dispenser & Hydration Association (WHA) conference in March 2023.
The total number of water dispensers installed in 2022 passed 800,000 for the first time. 46% were mains-fed water dispensers. Bottled water dispensers now account for 43%, having been overtaken by mains-fed in 2021. Multi-functional integrated tap systems make up the remaining 11%. The increased use of refillable water bottles is helping to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste, and can significantly improve the carbon footprint of organisations that encourage their use.
Despite severe cost and wage inflation combined with the end of covid restrictions and favourable summer weather, the industry’s revenue rose only marginally to £177 million. “Competition in the sector remains intense and many people have not returned to full-time office working,” commented Zenith Global Chairman Richard Hall, who presented the findings to the conference. “That is a key factor, since 80% of bottled water and mains-fed dispensers are installed in workplaces.”
Here are some of the other key findings presented::
- The average annual bottled water throughput per dispenser was 790 litres.
- Savings on plastic use by provision of returnable and refillable bottles.
- The number of integrated tap systems has grown 32% in the past 5 years.
- Mains-fed dispensers for homes was the fastest growing segment in 2022.
“The growth in the market underlines the demand for access to drinking water,” says Jon Wicks, chair of the WHA. “Our members are fully committed to a sustainable industry, so the focus on returnable, refillable bottles is very pleasing.
“Purchasing systems from WHA members guarantees that you’re offering them the most suitable product for your needs, thanks to the industry specific training and audits they take to ensure they are providing the best level of service and expertise.”
Zenith Global forecasts continuing moderate and steady growth by most measures over the coming five years to 2027, taking the total number of water dispensers up to 840,000.