Industry Statistics

The UK water dispenser market consists of both bottled water dispensers and mains fed (POU) dispensers which dispense filtered chilled mains tap water.  The 2020 report includes ITS (Integrated Tap Systems).

Water Dispenser Market data highlights for 2020

(Source: Zenith Global)

  • The UK water dispense industry was challenged by the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which saw overall dispenser placements across the bottled and mains-fed market drop for the first time since 2012
  • The number of dispensers fell by 3.2% to just under 840,000
  • Revenue saw a much greater hit, dropping by 15.1% to £160.3 million
  • Bottled water dispensers saw a fall of 8.3% placements to just below 320,000 at the end of 2020 with a market share of 38.1%
  • Mains-fed ended the year with a 38.9% share, with a reduction of 1.9% to 326,000 units
  • Leading distributors reported a mixture of gains and losses to net out at a much less negative performance than had been predicted at the outset of the pandemic
  • The success story in the dispense industry in 2020 was the integrated tap systems (ITS) which saw a growth of 3.8% in unit terms

Market Forecast

  • Zenith Global forecasts that:
    • Despite the challenges of 2020, Zenith Global forecast a nearly complete bounce back in 2021 with almost 25,500 new units expected to be placed in the year, followed by renewed growth in the next few years.  The number of water dispensers is expected to exceed 900,000 for the first time in 2024.
    • Water volumes are forecast to continue increasing incrementally to almost 288 million litres in 2025.  A forecast for BWD units is a levelling out at 330,000
    • Mains-fed is expected to continue gradually gaining market share to pass 358,000 units in 2025
    • The strongest growth is forecast for ITS at a CAGR of 3.2% with stable gains year on year to reach 226,000 at the end of the period to claim a market share of 24.7%
    • By 2025, the total market should reach 914,000 units, 9% above 2020
  • Current market predictions do not account for the global spread of Covid-19.

UK Water Dispense 2015 - 2025 -April2021

Future water consumption trends

  • Hydration continues to be essential for workforce wellbeing and this is likely to be a key driver for future performance in the industry, especially in BWD and Mains-fed, whilst premium convenience at home and at work is a major influencer in ITS progression
  • In the UK, consumers have definitely become more interested in the health benefits of better hydration wherever they are.  They are also increasingly interested in dispense and refill solutions in preference to single use packaging
  • As a result of plastic concerns and environmental activism, consumers need to appreciate that BWD bottles are collected and refilled around 50 times, and are then recycled

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