The East European water cooler market edged up towards 2.0 million units installed at the end of 2015, a rise of just 0.5% on 2014, according to a new report from specialist consultancy Zenith International.
Water sales volumes through bottled water coolers and dispensers/pumps also increased by 0.5% to 2.2 billion litres. The share of water sales through coolers is now 12.0% of total bottled water consumption, compared with just 4% in 1999.
In 2015, Russia remained East Europe’s biggest cooler market with 41.1% of units and 43.4% of volume, followed by Poland and Ukraine. These countries represent the top three in both the bottled and dispensers/pumps segments.
“2015 growth was lower than in 2014 and some countries fell back, due to economic and political pressures causing more caution by businesses and consumers,” commented Zenith market analyst Iuliana Boda. “Russia achieved the greatest number of total new unit placements, with 19,000 more installed over the course of 2015, but that was less than half the total for 2014. Romania came second with nearly 6,500 and Bulgaria third with over 1,500. Ukraine’s numbers contracted by 7.4%. Five other countries – Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia – also saw declines in 2015.”
Nevertheless, Zenith forecasts that the total market will reach close to 2.2 million units by 2020. Point of use is expected to be the fastest growing segment.