Industry Statistics

The UK water dispenser market consists of bottled water dispensers, mains fed (POU) dispensers which dispense filtered chilled mains tap water, and Integrated Tap Systems (ITS). The market is developing to embrace hydration solutions for the hotel, restaurant and catering trade, as well as bottle filling stations and boxed water – however, these are not included in the figures reported below.

Water Dispenser Market data highlights for 2022

(Source: Zenith Global)

  • The total number of water dispensers in the field in 2022 surpassed 2019 levels reaching 800,000 – the highest level ever – constituting a 2.1% improvement over 2021
  • 46% were mains-fed water dispensers
  • Bottled water dispensers now account for 43%
  • Multi-functional integrated tap systems (ITS) make up the remaining 11%, growing by 32% in the past 5 years
  • Increased use of refillable water bottles is helping to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste
  • The industry’s revenue rose by 1.5% to £177 million

Market Forecast

  • Zenith Global forecasts that:
    • Continuing moderate and steady growth by most measures over the coming five years to 2027 taking the total number of water dispensers to 840,000.
    • Water volumes are forecast to continue increasing to 300.5 million litres in 2027. This is based on the key principles of health and wellness, convenience and premiumisation of both at-home and at-work consumption.
    • Mains-fed is expected to maintain and grow its lead, up 4.6% to over 397,000 units.
    • Bottled water dispensers are forecast to stay around 340,000 units.
    • ITS will continue to gain share, growing 12.6% to over 100,000 units in 2027.
    • By 2027, the total market is expected to reach nearly 840,000 units, 4.1% above 2022; that's 12.0 units per thousand people.

UK Water Dispense

Future water consumption trends

The refill revolution is expected to return to focus, and messaging will be important to show that the dispense industry is well positioned to be the solution for low-plastic, sustainable water provision.

The key concerns can be summarised by ‘still rising costs’, everything from logistics, fuel to materials, labour and the cost of living. Ensuring the balance between affordable and sustainable will continue be a challenging task in the future.

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The WHA wishes to thank Zenith Global for making this data available to the Association.