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1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

A water fountain is a machine that produces a small stream of water for drinking. There are three sorts of water fountains on the market: the carboy water fountain, the networked water fountain, and the atmospheric water fountain. The market for water dispensers can be segmented according to type of the machine (the three abovementioned), operations (free standing, under the sink, and wall mounted), technology (filtered, and filter-free), and application (commercial, corporate spaces, retail stores, educational infrastructure, and healthcare).

The global water dispenser market was valued at $1.95 billion in 2018, and it is expected to reach a value of $4.08 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 7.6% during the period 2019-2025.

In Italy, the market for water dispenser represents an important sector for the economy of the country. In fact, it is possible to count a total of 271,000 machines installed throughout the country, and a number of 1.8 million of water balls are sold each year to maintain and use those installations. However, the sector under analysis does employ only about 1,500 specialists, who make use of around 700 trucks to deliver machines and water balls to their clients.

Dealing with the major players in the Italian market for water dispenser, it is worth mentioning five groups: Blu Service, SEM, Culligan, Drink Cup, and Acquaviva. Together, these groups account for three-quarters of the Italian business and manage 75% of the installed systems. Manufacturers operate in the market both with direct suppliers to customers and through dealers and distributors, mainly through the network of vending operators.

Compared to the American one, the Italian and European market are still smaller. But this is just because water dispensers were introduced before in the US, so there are wider opportunities for growth in both EU and Italy, as the market is not yet saturated.

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