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UK: Water cooler sales seen higher in 2005

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The number of bottled water coolers sold in Western Europe last year is set to bounce back after sales growth slowed in 2004, according to drinks consultants Zenith International.

The number of bottled water coolers sold rose by 6.4% to over 1.75m in 2004 marking a gradual slowdown on previous years due to the poor summer weather.

However Zenith research director Gary Roethenbaugh said the consultancy expected last year's sales growth to outpace those of 2004.

"For 2005, Zenith expects coolers to regain some of their former momentum and record higher growth in both volumes and unit numbers," he said.

"Workers and families are changing their drinking habits, moving away from hot drinks and carbonated soft drinks towards water," he added. "Increasingly, water coolers are becoming a 'must have' installation in many working environments."

The UK remains the largest cooler market in Western Europe, accounting for a third of volumes in 2004.

Nestlé Waters remains the biggest seller of coolers, with its Aquarel brand launched in most of its active markets. Nearest rival Danone Springs of Eden has rolled out the Eden brand in the majority of its 12 markets and last February strengthened its position with the acquisition of UK-based Thirsty Work.


Sectors: Water

Companies: Groupe Danone

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