World Water Day

Fittingly, the BWCA annual Conference and Trade Show is held the day after, World Water Day  (22 March).

World Water Day is a means of focusing attention on the importance of fresh water and championing for the sustainable management of fresh water resources.

It is an international day and was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

BWCA is proud to be restating its commitment to supporting the charity Just a Drop and will be raising funds during the course of its annual conference, show and gala dinner towards funding a second borehole to transform the life of an African village that currently has no access to fresh water. Last year’s equivalent event, which included an auction, raised enough money in one day to fund a borehole and pump for a village in Zambia, which was constructed and commissioned last Autumn (2016).

Just a Drop Kalungwishi Borehole Drilling 2

In addition to providing the source of water, Just a Drop’s project managers provide sanitation and hygiene education for those using the facility.

The BWCA initiative has also inspired some of our Member Companies to get behind the scheme and we thank them all for their brilliant efforts to support this worthwhile cause.

BWCA Seminar: Plan to Win through Training

BWCA Annual Trade Show Seminar: 15:30 on 23rd March 2017 at the Nottingham Belfry

Book your free Trade Show place on-line.

“Ask yourself, every day, ‘How can I make today a bit more amazing?'”  That’s the question that Rachel Halsall of the The Results centre will be posing at this seminar.

Training is often a neglected area and the session Rachel leads will reveal some of the benefits of training and development and how these deliver a commercial return.

Rachel Halsall of The Results Centre is a top business trainer and coach and she would like delegates attending her seminar to come away from the session with some practical tips to take back to their own businesses.

Rachel Halsall of The Results Centre BWCA Seminar Speaker

She says, “Creating great results for yourself and your team requires investment. I will examine how you can effectively invest in your own training and development as a leader to produce a clear return on that investment.”

Her approach is very much one of empowering those who work in, and lead, businesses, encouraging conversations about training needs and starting by identifying what success looks like. For some bosses, executive coaching is where this process needs to begin.  “We need to enrol people in the conversation about what could be done better,” says Rachel.


Businesses owners and leaders want more time in the day. Rachel says: “Sometimes it’s a question of helping people to analyse how their business has changed over, say, the past two years. We get them to see what they no longer need to do and what they should now be doing to keep things fresh.  Keeping the lens open to assessing change and how to react to change is a key part of the focus. The aspiration is always to get people, at every level of a business, to turn up that dial just one degree more”.

The Results Centre is an International Coaching, Training and Development business whose  arresting approach aims to help  change how you see the future for yourself, your team and your business.


The seminar is free to attend.  Spaces are limited on a first come, first served basis. The two other free seminars that afternoon –  all on a ‘Plan to Win’ theme –  are:

13.30 “Plan to be a Better Boss” – a company’s most important asset is usually its employees.  Delegates will receive pointers on how to develop a strong and harmonious team.

14:30 “Plan your technology for tomorrow’s success” – whether you struggle with the application of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) or just want to get better, this session is for you.  Delegates will learn how to ensure their businesses are as efficient as possible.

 The Trade Show is the showcase for the Water Cooler sector and entry is free to trade visitors. Book your free Trade Show place on-line.

BWCA Seminar: Plan your technology for future success

BWCA Annual Trade Show Seminar:  14:30 on 23rd March 2017 at the Nottingham Belfry

Book your free Trade Show place on-line.

“Whether you struggle with the application of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) or just want to get better, this session will help delegates learn how to ensure their businesses are as efficient as possible,” says Rob Laughton, Seminar Chairman and owner of The Water Delivery Company.

The two presenters, Alison Peters of Database Workshop and Francisco dos Santos from Activewhere, are specialists in the sector. The seminar will reveal some insights from the perspective of each speaker as software providers whilst answering questions from the session chairman and from delegates about how to make the most of technology.

The Chairman and presenters will aim to show just how important it is to use existing technology to its full potential and how a thoughtful approach can influence the software and enhance its value still further.

Rob Laughton said: “The core focus for both talks will be looking at how software has solved business challenges. Our speakers will show how user interaction and feedback can make a massive difference in the development of new functionality”.

The seminar is free to attend.  Spaces are limited on a first come, first served basis. The two other free seminars that afternoon are:

13:30  “Plan to be a better boss” – a company’s most important asset is usually its employees.  Delegates will receive pointers on how to develop a strong and harmonious team.

 15:30 “Plan to win through training” – often a neglected area, the session will reveal some of the benefits of training and development and how these deliver a commercial return.

The Trade Show is the showcase for the Water Cooler sector and entry is free to trade visitors.  Book on-line


BWCA Seminar: Plan to be a Better Boss

BWCA Annual Trade Show Seminar – 13:30 23rd March 2017 at The Nottingham Belfry

Book your free trade show and seminar place on-line

“A boss will tell you what to do and a leader will show you how to do it” says Seminar presenter, Adrian Berwick.

In his talk, Adrian will consider how companies can grow the business but also need to change the culture and the  behaviours  of some people who work in the business. He is fully aware of the challenges involved in sometimes bringing in new people with different perspectives.

Adrian Berwick 03

Having worked both in the water cooler sector and also in one of the main customer areas, that of FM and property management, Adrian Berwick is well-placed to note that the water cooler sector has undergone huge change in the last ten years. He says: “There has been much consolidation and because of the way the industry is low cost in terms of barriers to entry. It often comes down to small margins so the key differentiator is customer service, and, rightly so.”

In talking about how to plan to be a better ‘boss’, he will draw on the difference between boss and leader, explaining how these two act and think differently. Embracing new ideas and getting the best out of people is something leaders do”.

Adrian Berwick often helps companies cope with change management as they increase in size, particularly in the case of small, sometimes family-run, businesses. “It doesn’t always work when a new person comes in and challenges the status quo,” he says. “In the case of family-run businesses, transfer between the generations can also be a difficult area and managing sibling rivalry makes life interesting. Then there are those employees who have always been employed by the company and have built up massive loyalty with the family but may not be at their best in performance.  I take a view that if it is family then you sometimes have to accept and protect them or sometimes you have to find a way of finding a less business critical role for some individuals. Leaders may need to make a decision in the interests of the business”.

He describes this syndrome in an excellent  blog on ‘Best Before Dates…’

Adrian Berwick, of AB HR Commercial Solutions, is a Human Resources expert with over 30 years in HR roles within large and small organisations. He now runs a business support consultancy predominantly supporting SMEs. Adrian  has a particular knowledge of the water cooler industry as, from 2000-2004 , he worked for a major cooler company,  a BWCA Member, as head of HR and later spent a year on  secondment as their  Operations Director.

New Horizons for the water cooler industry


BWCA Trade Show & Seminars being held on Thursday 23rd March 2017 at The Nottingham Belfry – 13:00 – 17:00 with complimentary refreshments – open to all in the industry.

Book easily on-line

Many new Exhibitors

Three free to attend seminars, offering additional value and business ideas:

  • Plan to be a Better Boss:  A company’s most important asset is usually its employees.  Delegates will receive pointers on how to develop a strong and harmonious team.
  • Plan your technology for tomorrow’s success: we will be looking at two areas of IT that are core to running a water cooler business:  ERP and CRM.  The core focus will be looking at how software has solved business challenges
  • Plan to win through training: this session will reveal some of the benefits of training and development and how these deliver a commercial return.



Eden Springs to be acquired by Cott Corporation

Press Release from Eden Spring which is to be acquired by Cott Corporation for €470 ($525) million. Acquisition to create a leading global water and coffee services platform

June 7, 2016

Eden Springs, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of water and coffee solutions to offices in 18 European markets, today announced that its current owners, investment entities affiliated with Rhône Capital, and Eden management, have entered into a definitive share purchase agreement for Eden to be acquired by Cott Corporation (“Cott”) (NYSE:COT; TXX:BCB) (the “Acquisition”). Cott is one of the world’s largest producers of beverages on behalf of retailers, brand owners and distributors. In addition, Cott is a leader in the North American home and office water delivery, coffee services and filtration services industries. The company produces multiple types of beverages and currently employs more than 9,500 people. Cott has manufacturing activities across the USA, Canada, Mexico and the UK and develops and exports beverage concentrates to over 50 countries.


  • Definitive share purchase agreement for Eden to be acquired by Cott for approximately €470 million (~US$525 million)
  • This represents a mid 7x Eden reported adjusted 2016 run rate EBITDA, or 1.3x Eden pro forma revenues
  • The Acquisition is expected to close in third quarter 2016 and is subject to certain customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals
  • Eden Springs will continue to be led by its current CEO, Raanan Zilberman, and the existing management team to grow the company via organic growth, portfolio expansion and tuck-on acquisitions

Background to the Acquisition

The Acquisition will accelerate the enlarged Cott group’s strategy of diversification outside of carbonated soft drinks and shelf stable juices into the home and office delivery (“HOD”) of water, office coffee services (“OCS”), and filtration. It will also extends Cott’s geographic presence into Eden’s 18 markets across the continent.

Strategic fit

The Acquisition will provide the enlarged group with international market-leading positions and a strong platform across multiple geographies to continue to drive growth through portfolio expansion and the capture of revenue and cost synergies.

The Acquisition follows Cott’s 2014 purchase of DS Services of America, Inc., a leading provider of bottled water, coffee, tea and filtration equipment to over 1.5 million home and office customers across the USA.

The Acquisition supports Cott’s diversification strategy to expand in “Better for You” products and HOD water, coffee, tea and filtration services, where Eden Springs’ platform, operating strength and potential synergies can be leveraged.

The enlarged group will have leadership positions in both North America and multiple European countries and will benefit from:

  • Shared product development technology
  • Enlarged customer base: providing access to Eden’s direct-to-consumer route distribution platform in Europe serving over 800,000 homes and offices
  • Cross selling and vertical integration opportunities to leverage DS Services’ and Cott’s products and offers
  • Cott’s channel mix outside of large format retail and supermarket
  • A platform to continue to driving growth through portfolio expansion and tuck-in acquisitions
  • Broader revenue and cost synergies

Raanan Zilberman, Eden Spring’s Chief Executive Officer commented:

“Eden is a successful business and a natural fit with the wider Cott family. This transaction is an important step as we strengthen our international capability and develop our market-leading position.
We plan to extend the opportunities from commercial & operational synergies of the enlarged group, to our installed base of almost one million, and our 3200 employees in Europe. The new merger will provide an even stronger platform for our business, including the expansion of our portfolio & services. On a final note, this ends our successful partnership with Rhône Capital, who I would like to thank for their continuous support of Eden’s significant expansion over the past few years.”

Jerry Fowden, Cott’s Chief Executive Officer commented:

“We are delighted to join forces with Eden Springs, creating an impressive leadership position across North America and multiple European countries. “The acquisition is a great step in Cott’s strategy to pursue opportunities in the home and office water delivery, office coffee and tea services and filtration categories where we believe our platform, operating strength and synergies can be leveraged.”

Tom Harrington, CEO of DS Services, commented:

“We firmly believe that our combined partnerships and home and office water and coffee delivery expertise will create an even stronger cash generating, growth and service-oriented platform across Europe and North America. We expect to be able to capitalize on Eden’s and DS Services’ combined expertise in tuck-in acquisitions to pursue further opportunities in the fragmented HOD, OCS and filtration markets across Europe.”


The Acquisition is expected to close in Q3 2016, subject to certain customary closing conditions (including regulatory approvals) and purchase price adjustments.

Water Cooler Market Value up 5%

Market data highlights for 2015

  • The total market is valued at £123 million, with a 5% revenue growth compared with the previous year.
  • After bouncing back last year, the growth in volume and value has continued for bottled water coolers (BWCs) compared with mains-fed (POU) units. 
  • For health reasons, consumers and employers continue to turn to water for calorie-free hydration.

New market research shows continuing positive growth of 1.5% for UK water cooler numbers, the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) annual conference heard in today (17th March 2016).

Karen Wells, Senior Commercial Consultant from Zenith International Ltd*, told the conference that the total number of cooler units had grown in 2015 by 1.5% compared with 2014. There is now a total of 645,000 coolers.  Of these, Bottled Water Coolers (BWCs) are up 1.8% to 341,000 units whilst Point of Use (POU) coolers have grown by 1.2% to 304,000 units.  Bottled water sales have increased by 5% y.o.y. to 296 million litres.

The volume split between the two segments of the market continues to be weighted towards bottled water which now has 53% of units, with 47% of the total number of units being held by POU machines.

The respective value is, unsurprisingly, more marked: although the POU sector has increased in the past three years to hold nearly 50% of the installed units, in revenue terms its share of market has declined to less than a quarter.

BWCs have seen a slight increase in terms of margin and prices. Water costs and rental values are either stable or slightly increasing.

By contrast, Ms Wells said: “POU remains cut-throat. The key customers are usually the public sector and so this is a tricky area for companies dealing with their customers’ cost-cutting and head-count reductions. There are large, best price tenders to compete for and so the need to compete on price makes revenue generation ever more difficult in this segment”.

Karen Wells told delegates:  “The return of business confidence in the private sector boosted bottled water cooler sales. This is excellent news for the industry”.

Healthy hydration trend continues

She went on to say: “Consumers have continued to move towards water for regular hydration – and this is true in the small pack and cooler segments of the market. In fact, we believe that small pack growth has helped fuel the growth of the cooler industry. It has encouraged regular hydration”. There seems to have been a gradual shift, often through lighter beverages and light packaged drinks towards water, rather than a direct switch from a sugary latte to water.

Effect of the weather

Ms Wells added: “We reported last year that the market is less dependent upon weather as a direct indicator of performance and this trend continues.”

She points out that, in 2013 and 2014 when this apparent trend began, it was difficult to see if this would be a long term pattern as both summers were warm. Karen Wells said: “By contrast, in 2015, although the summer was poor, the market still grew. It now seems that consumers switching into water because of warm summers has translated into a water habit through the year, regardless of whether the summer weather is warm”. She confirmed that, in addition, it is clear that the unseasonably warm start to winter at the end of 2015 helped sales further.

Customer base

POU distribution outlets were revealed in the Zenith International data, with offices unsurprisingly taking nearly two thirds (64%) of the POU cooler segment. Institutions were the second largest single category with a 19% share. HORECA stood at 8% and factories at 6%. Zenith notes that there were no significant changes in the outlet distribution as compared to 2014.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Another key factor affecting the market was the mergers and acquisitions which occurred in 2015. “The market is growing, so people are seeing that it is worth investing in, which is positive. In terms of acquisitions, consolidation will continue,“ predicts Ms Wells. “The water cooler market has a high turnover rate, meaning that there are a lot of small companies appearing and transforming,” she added.  In the past 3 years, the sector has seen 15 important acquisitions.

Comment from the BWCA Chairman

The BWCA Chairman, John Dundon, welcomed the news about market growth. He said “In 2013, the market was up 3% by value over the previous year – the first year of growth since 2007. Then in 2014, we saw 9% revenue growth and now, for 2015, 5% growth.  We expected continued growth and it is excellent to see it confirmed. The market expansion was, as predicted, not just a ‘blip’ but a trend.

“We thank Karen Wells and her team for delivering this data to the BWCA conference. We are immensely grateful to her – and especially so as she has brought such positive news for our industry”.


BWCA taps into cooler industry goodwill for Charity

At its 2016 conference, trade show and annual gala dinner last week the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) both announced its fundraising target in support of the Just a Drop Charity – and exceeded that target.

It is fitting that on World Water Day (22 March) the water cooler industry is able to confirm that it has raised £10,328. It required just under £10,000 to be able to fund a borehole project in Kalungwishi  village in Zambia.

The project will provide clean drinking water for the village whose inhabitants currently have no access to clean safe water, resulting in waterborne disease striking every week. Children and women have to walk for two hours to fetch water which is unclean and unsafe. This will transform the lives of the villagers.

Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, BWCA General Manager, said: “I couldn’t be more proud of my industry colleagues who gave so generously to this cause. Our members donated superb prizes to our charity auction and, thanks to them, our superb chief auctioneer Bruce Orme of Wenlock Spring and the enthusiasm of the bidders, we raised all the money – and more.

“We also raised funds via a jerry can challenge during the trade show which helped demonstrate the physical challenges facing our beneficiaries in carrying large quantities of water over a distance. Other donations came via  on-stand promotions at the trade show to raise money plus one off gifts through our Just Giving site and a substantial cash gift from one member”.

Chairman John Dundon said: “This is the first time our members have come together in a charitable programme of this kind and it just demonstrates what a wonderfully empathetic industry this is. I consider this to be one of the most exciting developments of 2016 for the Association. It was a pleasure to have Brendan Hanlon and Louise Geoghegan from Just a Drop with us for the day and Brendan’s presentation did much to rouse interest in supporting this great cause. This is a superb example of what we, in the UK, can do to help those for whom drinking clean water is a daily challenge”.

Just a Drop provides drinking water and sanitation to communities in developing countries.  Just a Drop’s Head of Fundraising and Communciations, Brendan Hanlon, said: We are so grateful to The British Water Cooler Association for this achievement. This partnership will make a positive and significant difference to the people of Kalungwishi who will now have the opportunity to access clean water. Thank you on behalf of everyone at Just a Drop.”

In the village, Just a Drop will drill a borehole to a maximum depth of 70m and equip it with a hand pump, enabling the community to reach clean and safe water. To ensure that water will be available into the future, community-elected women and men will be trained and equipped to work together to repair and manage the water systems. Just a Drop will also provide hygiene education, to ensure people stay healthy.

 The BWCA intends to continue raising money for Just a Drop towards a further project. To donate visit

A child from Kalungwishi village in Zambia, who will be one of those to benefit from the BWCA’s generosity. Image courtesy ©Just a Drop

A child from Kalungwishi village in Zambia, who will be one of those to benefit from the BWCA’s generosity. Image courtesy ©Just a Drop


New research – water can help weight loss

Drinking more water can help weight loss according to a new scientific study.  Good news for those visiting the BWCA conference and trade show this week.

Research just published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (February 2016)  shows that plain water consumption can control weight and reduce intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat. Drinking between one-three glasses more water a day could lower calorie intake by over 205 calories.

The researchers, led by Professor Ruopeng An from the University of Illinois, surveyed 18,300 adults, asking them to recall foods and drinks consumed over two days that were between 3-10 days apart. Water intake was assessed, including fluid from foods and drinks other than plain water.

On a daily basis, the participants drank an average of just over 4 cups of plain water which accounts for just over 30% of their total fluid consumption. The average daily calorie intake was 2,157 calories.

The study showed that those who increased their consumption of plain water by between one to three cups daily, lowered their total energy intake by between 68-205 calories. Plain water was defined as ‘water from a tap, watercooler, drinking fountain or bottle”.

The research also showed that people who drank more water, consumer 5-19g less sugar and 7-21g less cholesterol.