War takes toll on East Europe water dispense

After resilience through Covid, the East Europe water dispense market fell back 8% to 2.43 million units in 2022, according to a new research report from Zenith Global Commercial.  Unit numbers had been growing until 2019, then dropped by 5% in 2020, before recovering by 1% in 2021.
Ironically, the large Russian market with a 43% share lost the most, shedding 15% of its unit base.  Ukraine, in third position with 11% of the total, proved remarkably resilient, sliding by 14%.  In contrast, most other countries grew modestly, including second placed Poland, which rose to a 17% share.
“Covid was a major challenge,” commented Mr Akos Petri,” but that was overtaken by the war in Ukraine and the exit of key industry players from Russia.”
In terms of market segments, bottled water dispensers dominate with a 53% share.  Hand pumps make up most of the remainder with a 39% share.  The biggest growth, however, has come from the much smaller segments.  Bottle-free mains water dispensers, known as point of use, have advanced by 37% over the past 5 years to 8% of the total.  Multifunctional integrated tap systems for businesses still represent under 1% of the total, but have risen by 86% since 2017.
Industry revenue from bottles, rentals and sales reached €713 million in 2022.  This represented a decline of 5.6%, despite 13% revenue growth for the point of use segment.
Zenith Global Commercial forecasts a further 2.5% decline in unit numbers for 2023, followed by around 2% growth per year up to 2027, taking the total back above 2.5 million.