Water coolers were readily available throughout the early 20th century and you can still find many of the glass bottles that were used on these water coolers in Antique markets in the USA. However it was largely an American market place and remained niche until plastic water bottles were mass manufactured.
By the mid to late 1980ís entrepreneurs in the UK realised an opportunity to create a water cooler market in the UK. The foundation of this industry owes much to the companies who worked hard to encourage businesses to provide water coolers to staff to improve their water intake and healthiness.
Primarily, the water coolers were bottle fed, and the industry was initially driven by the bottled water producing companies. The customers liked the perceived quality of water that was dispensed through the water coolers. Increasingly though the water cooler became an established part of the office and conversations around a water cooler became a part of daily working life.
Most of the suppliers of water coolers in the UK also deliver water to their clients on a regular basis. The majority of these companies sell a natural spring water that is bottled at source and delivered to them on a daily basis. However there still remains a section of the industry where the water in the water cooler bottle is filtered mains water. It is worth asking your supplier carefully about what type of water he sells. If he answers with 'Pure Water' this is often filtered tap water.
During the 1990ís, again led by America, there was a change in emphasis from bottled water coolers to water coolers that were linked to the mains water supply. The water cooler was integrated with a water filter which filtered the mains water which was then dispensed through the water cooler.
This allowed a new group of companies to emerge and cut out the expensive costs of the bottling process, cost of bottles and the huge cost of delivery. The trend towards mains-fed/bottleless/plumbed-in water coolers is now well established in the UK.
The market is currently split around 50/50 between mains-fed water coolers and traditional bottled water coolers and this is where we expect it to remain.
For more information on our water coolers please see our main water products website.
Drinking Waters - www.drinkingwaters.co.uk