Top Trends from Water Quality Association (WQA) 2019 Las Vegas
By James Peterson
Aquatech China 2019 is a key event for the APAC and foreign point-of-use (POU) water market. With Aquatech Amsterdam scheduled for the Fall of 2019, there were fewer western POU manufacturers and distributors at this year’s event as compared to prior years. As a result, there was a greater focus on the needs of the APAC market at this show.
Finding growth in commercial POU water
New exhibitors and product releases reinforced continued growth priorities on the commercial POU water market. Aligning with the trends reported from Appliances and Electronics World Expo 2019, residential POU purification has seen noteworthy entrants by global white goods brands who are able to attract higher end consumers while keeping costs low, thereby increasing competition for residential customers. Commercial POU, which typically gets longer service contracts and revenue per customer, is showing itself as an area that traditional water treatment OEMs and service providers are finding as a less crowded arena to begin adding new value to products. Water disinfection solutions for commercial dispensers and beverage equipment garnered interest in POU given the potential for high volume from small beverage shops as well as the risk vendors and service providers face with unannounced water quality audits.
Focusing on the service provider as the customer
Many brands introduced connected commercial dispensers and purifiers, but in contrast to the residential POU products that have been coming to market with this integration, the benefits of connectivity focused heavily on value to service providers. Specifically, connectivity was often linked to service providers and equipment operators (rather than to users) to provide immediate insights on consumables consumption rates and maintenance needs directly back to the operator, allowing for potentially reduced overhead of service operations. Unscheduled maintenance costs are continuing to be a burden to profitability for traveling technician-based service operations, especially when using technologies prone to unpredictable lifetimes and clogging, like UV lamps or nanofiltration cartridges.
Increasing consumables revenue with water enhancements
While major OEMs are finding that APAC has not been as fast to adopt carbonation features in POU units compared to Europe or North America, the market is beginning to find a niche for other consumables focused on flavorings and water enhancements. Pouch or bag in box systems were seen more frequently, enabling options like mineralization, citrus, and tea flavorings. While these features offer new revenue opportunities to equipment vendors, they pose potential challenges with unit hygiene as we covered during WQA 2019.
Aquatech Amsterdam will offer another look at the global POU market, focusing heavily on western markets, but certainly not excluding APAC suppliers and customers. Visit Klaran at Aquatech Amsterdam 2019 (stand 05.216) to see how UVC LEDs provide ideal hygiene solutions to these emerging trends and continue to show cost benefits to POU operations.