As Consumer Awareness of Water Quality Issues Rises, Retail Sales of Water Treatment Products Follow

A new Freedonia Group analysis projects US demand for consumer water treatment systems and consumables to rise 3.4% annually to $4.5 billion in 2024, with rising consumer awareness of potential drinking water contaminants among the key drivers of market growth.

Additionally, the sales spike recorded in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic – as consumers spending more time at home and using their water more often invested in water treatment systems and other home improvements – will boost the long-term growth outlook.

Other key factors supporting market growth through 2024 include:

  • expanding capabilities of available water treatment systems
  • growth in new housing construction and existing home sales, as whole-house systems are often installed during construction or after a purchase

A Majority of US Consumers Think Their Water Is Of Either Average Quality, Or Worse

According to the Freedonia Group’s National Online Consumer Survey, slightly more than half of US consumers consider their water quality to be only average or worse, which provides a significant market opportunity for suppliers going forward:

  • As consumers continue to become more aware of the contaminants and/or aesthetic flaws of their water, more will seek out water treatment systems or upgraded versions of these systems.
  • Driven by national press about the poor quality of drinking water in a number of US cities – such the lead contamination crises in Flint, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey – consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits of water filtration, spurring demand for suppliers.

As consumer water filtration products penetrate more households, marketing efforts that improve consumer understanding of the available products and their capabilities will help suppliers differentiate themselves from the competition, particularly as more products are introduced into the marketplace. 

Looking for More?

Consumer Water Treatment is now available from the Freedonia Group. This study covers the United States consumer market for water treatment systems and consumables. Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts to 2024 and 2029 are provided for consumer water treatment systems demand both in units and in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation).

Key breakouts for consumer water treatment systems include technology, system, and US geographic region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West).

Technologies include:

  • conventional filtration (adsorptive or mechanical filtration media or the combination of the two)
  • ion exchange
  • reverse osmosis and other membranes (e.g., ultrafiltration, microfiltration)
  • distillation
  • other technologies, including magnetic and deionizing; ultraviolet disinfection; ozone treatment; and atmospheric disinfection

Types of systems include:

  • whole-house (i.e., point-of-entry – POE – water purification; water conditioners)
  • point-of-use (POU) – including under-the-sink, countertop, faucet-mounted, flow-through, and other POU systems (e.g., atmospheric, showerhead, water bottles, filter straws)

Consumables are also included in this study:

  • replacement water filters
  • water softener salt
  • replacement membranes (e.g., spiral-wound, hollow-fiber, plate and frame, large tube)

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