Filtered water taps provide retailers with an opportunity for upselling while contributing to the reduction of single-use plastic bottles, says James Cunningham, sales director at Rangemaster.
Filtered water taps are often not the top priority on a consumer’s kitchen shopping list. However, growing concerns about the environment and water quality have resulted in a shift in consumer interest. At the same time, water companies have made headlines recently for issues such as discharging sewage and incurring fines. The latest order from regulator Ofwat, requiring them to return £114m to customers through lower bills next year due to slow progress in addressing leakages and reducing pollution incidents, has further emphasised the importance of water quality. As a result, many consumers will be looking to their local kitchen showrooms and retailers for advice on filtered water taps.
It’s fair to say that consumers have grown increasingly aware of the environmental consequences of single-use plastic bottles, which has led to a surge in reusable water bottles and water refill points in public places. According to the ‘Drinking Water Fountains’ guide by City to Sea and Sustain in 2021, approximately 13 billion plastic bottles are used in the UK every year. City to Sea’s Refill app lists a network of 32,000 refill stations across the UK and claims to have saved over 100 million plastic bottles globally since its inception. This same eco-conscious philosophy is now being applied at home, with a steadily increasing number of consumers choosing to incorporate filtered water taps into their kitchens.
In addition to environmental considerations, filtered water taps cater to personal taste preferences. Tap water in the UK is said to be among the very best in the world; however, when comparing tap or bottled water, the main complaint from consumers is taste. Having a kitchen filter tap not only provides reassurance about the purity of the water, but it can also improve the taste – especially for hot beverages, such as tea and coffee.
People living in hard water areas, where potable water has a high mineral content, will be familiar with the effects unfiltered water has on kettles – while it is harmless and safe to drink, the visible white marks are unpleasant to look at and difficult to remove. One way to prevent it is a 4-in-1 tap, such as the GEO Intense from Rangemaster; these taps not only deliver filtered cold water but also filtered steaming hot 98°C water. Plus, the boilers and filter cartridges are compact enough to be retrofitted into existing projects.
With a growing emphasis on healthy living, more people recognise the benefits of staying hydrated. Drinking water not only boosts energy but also improve cognitive levels and sleep quality. A filtered tap offers an endless supply of fresh, filtered water at consumers' fingertips, resulting in long-term cost savings compared to buying bottled water, while freeing up valuable worktop or fridge space from jugs and kettles.
The market for filtered water taps is thriving, offering the perfect trade-up opportunity from standard kitchen taps. However, it's important to note that not all filtered taps are created equal.
Offering a premium tap with superior cartridge technology will appeal to consumers who prioritise both quality and functionality. Look for tap with carbon cartridges, as used in Rangemaster’s GEO Intense 4-in-1, as they are packed with granules of activated carbon that trap particles and remove dissolved substances in the water, as well as reduce levels of various impurities.
The demand for filtered water taps continues to increase as consumers learn the benefits they provide, from meeting environmental concerns and catering to a desire for purity, to supporting health and wellbeing. Forward-thinking kitchen designers and retailers can stay at the forefront of trends by offering a diverse range of styles and finishes in this evolving market.