Office Watercoolers Ltd. doubles in size in 18 months

Following an eighteen month period of focussed acquisition activity, BWCA Member, Office Watercoolers Ltd, which is part of the South Staffordshire Plc water utility group of companies, has announced details of the latest in a series of acquisitions.

Over this period, five, regional, owner-managed, mains-fed and bottled water cooler businesses, have been acquired. These acquisitions, coupled with organic growth have resulted in a doubling of Office Watercoolers Ltd’s cooler base to over 20,000 units (predominantly mains-fed). The businesses acquired are detailed below.

1. Waterflo Ltd, Bolton, Greater Manchester, July 2019
2. Brightwater Ltd, Poulton, Lancashire, July 2019
3. Phoenix Water Coolers Ltd, Rochford, Essex, August 2018
4. Aquastations Water Coolers Ltd, Ware, Hertfordshire, May 2018
5. Smart Water Coolers Ltd, (which trades as Glug Glug Glug), Worle, Somerset, January 2018

Ken Skelton, Managing Director of Office Watercoolers Ltd commented:

“Our carefully selected regional acquisitions which we fully integrate into our existing operations, reinforce our long term strategy of building a premium quality national watercooler company focussing upon delivering outstanding products and service levels in this market.”

BWCA Launches New Hydration Fact Sheets

At the BWCA, we now have 8 “Why Water Matters” hydration fact sheets – having added guidance for those in the dental and retail sectors to our portfolio.

These publications provide information of the hydration benefits offered by water coolers and remind building managers that the BWCA is the leading Association representing those who supply and distribute water coolers and related products and services.

The dental fact sheet points to the value of hydrating patients before appointments and the retail fact sheet reminds retailers that offering simple hospitality in the form of a refreshing drink can help boost dwell-time and encourage refilling reusable water bottles.

The sheets also include a simple visual hydration charge to help people check whether they are corrected hydrated.

Contact the BWCA or a BWCA Member for copies.

BWCA Golf Day 2019 – resounding success

44 rather tired golfers came into the clubhouse after a fabulous round of golf at the BWCA Charity Golf Day, held at The Oxfordshire, Thame on Thursday 27th June.

This is one of the most exciting courses in the country and has previously hosted major tournaments such as the Benson & Hedges International Anderson Consulting World Championship and the Ladies English Open. And its pedigree was much appreciated with fabulous fairways and greens, not to mention those the many lakes.

The day was finished by a great evening. A game of Heads and Tails helped raise more funds towards Just a Drop BWCA’s chosen charity and part of its “5 for 5” sustainability pledge.

There were some great scores, but in the end the winners were:

Individual Competition: Will Hart from the NICE team
Team Competition: Ken Skelton and his Happy Hookers
Nearest the Pin: Chris Routledge, the BWCAs long-standing Treasurer
Longest Drive: Will Hart

BWCA chilled solution to healthy hydration

Bars are the liquid experts. Yet there is one area where many pubs and bars miss out and that’s the opportunities to be gained from serving water.

Just as with restaurants and hotels, many consumers no longer find it acceptable to buy single-use packaged waters as, even if these are in glass not plastic, there is a consciousness about sustainability that wasn’t present even a few years ago. Water chillers and even water coolers provide the answer.

This environmental aspect, along with the continuing interest in calorie-free water for healthy hydration, have led to a consistent boost for the water cooler sector. In 2018, the last year for which data is available, the sector grew for the sixth successive year, now standing at a market value of £140 million (Source: Zenith Global).

Bars could be missing out by failing to provide healthy hydration on tap. Restaurants and hotels seem to get on board with the benefits of cheaper, sustainable, great-tasting water that is served in reusable containers, yet the bar trade still has a long way to go. Bars and pubs should grasp the opportunity of serving water with style as the healthy, alcohol-free option.

There is a trend amongst a large part of the hospitality trade for self-fill under sink chillers which offer a number of benefits to bars and their customers. These are very popular in hotels and restaurants and this is seen as a growing trend for bars too. These under-sink chillers filter and ‘polish’ mains water rendering it as delicious as proprietary bottled waters. It’s water with benefits.

These systems deliver either chilled still water or can serve still plus sparkling water options. They are very easy to use with a simple, quick-to-operate bar tap so for a busy bar-team it’s even easier than pulling a pint of beer. Importantly, the water is filtered and improved to remove unwanted odour and taste and to soften the water by removing some limescale. This equipment offers high capacity so is ideal for a busy bar team.

These waters are provided with smart carafes or reusable glass bottles which in some cases can be branded to help promote your bar.

The water cooler industry is one of the most sustainable sectors. The eco-friendly aspect of these systems not wasting packaging or liquid miles in order to serve water is an attractive part of the pitch to environmentally conscious consumers.

BWCA Members are all rigorously audited for unimpeachable standards of service and hygiene so, by using one of our Members, bars know they will have reliable and safe equipment.

BWCA Members also provide bottled water coolers and plumbed in units which use mains water. There are situations both in the front of house and back of house, such as in staff areas or the kitchen, where a water cooler can be useful. Which type you pick will depend on the availability of storage for bottles and the access to plumbing for a plumbed in unit.

Just a Drop – the BWCA effect

The BWCA has raised nearly £70,000 for Just a Drop during just over three years of support for the charity.

The BWCA effect, however, goes much wider than simply fundraising efforts via the Association. As a result of the charitable programme which forms one of the platforms of the BWCA’s 5 for 5 Sustainability Pledge, numerous members have chosen to support the charity in their own right.

See the release about Just a Drop and the fantastic achievement of the Association and its Members in the current issue of Vending International.

BWCA Seminar – reduce bottling costs

At the BWCA Trade Show on the afternoon of Thursday 28th March at The Nottingham Belfry delegates will have the opportunity to attend the R.Bardi seminar.

The biggest challenge of HOD bottlers today is providing the highest quality at competitive prices in a congested market. Fabrizio Cottafava from R. Bardi will present their state of the art “Victoria 5G” washing, filling and capping solution to increase quality and profit whilst, decreasing costs.

BWCA – Trade Show Seminar

Improving Distributor Profitability : Reducing Water Cooler Downtime and Unplanned Service Visits with UVC LED Reactors

Come and hear new BWCA Member CRYSTAL IS reveal their exciting new technology at the upcoming BWCA watercooler trade show on Thursday 28th March. The seminar starts at 14:00. Visit the event website for full information, a list of exhibitors and to register.

Market Data at BWCA Conference

A highlight of the BWCA conference each year is the annual market data gathered and analysed by Zenith Global. This year, for the first time, Conference delegates are in for an added bonus. Each delegate will receive a report produced exclusively for the BWCA by Zenith Global containing its latest comparative data.

BWCA Chairman, Jon Wicks, said: “This is a great added value item at the Conference. It’s another good reason to attend the event on 28 March”.

For full information and booking visit the conference website

BWCA announces FTA strategic partnership

Recognising the importance of running efficient and safe transport within our businesses, the BWCA have entered into a Van Excellence Strategic Partner Programme with the Freight Transport Association (FTA). Their mission is to professionalise the operation of vans on our roads.

Vans are the life blood of the UK economy. The number of UK roads has grown consistently with almost 4.3 million on the road today. That’s 1 in 10 of all traffic!

Government statistics also tell us that the “driving for work” element of an employee’s job is one of the riskiest activities they undertake with many more hours lost and, sadly, injuries and fatalities attributed to this than the rest of their role.

As a start to this relationship, BWCA Members have been invited to attend Operational Briefings on well being and health and sent an article on “The Dangers of Overloading a Van”.

BWCA announces Lord Deben as conference keynote speaker 2019

Lord Deben (formerly John Gummer);
London, UK; Photo credit: © CLIVE BARDA/ArenaPAL;

The BWCA event of the year is only 10 weeks away. “Insight to Change: learn, unlearn & relearn”, takes place on 28 March 2019 at the Nottingham Belfry. To book.

Our keynote speaker is the Rt Hon. the Lord Deben (John Selwyn Gummer) who amongst other senior parliamentary roles was former Secretary of State for the Environment and Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change.

Sustainability is a key issue for all businesses and as the British water cooler sector is one of the most sustainable industries around, it is fitting that we should have a sustainability and environmental expert to address and inspire our delegates. We are sure Lord Deben will give our delegates some fascinating and valuable insights.

Lord Deben (pictured) commented on the value of providing water for hydration and doing it sustainably. “Water coolers provide water that is cold and therefore appealing to drink as well as being convenient, without hawking a whole load of plastic bottles around the country. The fact that the industry uses plastic bottles that are reused many times over and then recycled is positive for the environment. The challenge regarding all use of plastic is what we do about it after use.”