H2O Direct will look back one day on 2017 and see it as a landmark year in the development of the company. If you hadn’t heard of them twelve months ago, then thanks to a whirlwind of new product activity, backed by a flurry of well-targeted and assertive marketing, you almost certainly have now.
Back in February, H2O Direct raised appreciative eyebrows by announcing the introduction of the ‘very robust’ OP Crate system for bottle storage and transportation. These plastic crates were designed specifically for use with the round bottles used in the water-cooler industry. They proved to be effective in solving bottle damage and cleanliness issues, as well as providing an improved storage solution.
The crates proved to be invaluable for in production, storage and transportation situations and H2O Direct have reaped the benefits of having this competitive edge.
Hot on the heels of this innovation, the specialists in the supply of high quality POU Water Filters and associated products to the vending industry announced an important expansion to its range of IEN filters.
The NEW IEN4000 and IEN6000 were welcome additions to the already hugely successful IEN2000. ‘We’ve launched them in response to market demands as the need for greater capacity increases’, MD Jim Redford said at the time. ‘The increases in capacity will extend servicing intervals, particularly in high water usage cases.’
The benefits of the new filters were communicated under the amusing banner of ‘For The Prevention Of Awful Coffee and the range featured Microfilters’ specially designed 30% by-pass system for water blending, which helps prevent scale build up and keep pH levels stable. The company had a point: if the water used to make a vended drink is of poor quality, it stands to reason that the taste of the drink will be affected.
Indeed, one of the main issues for machine operators and service companies is that the water in the U.K. is constantly changing. In some areas, water supply companies frequently mix locally sourced water with other supplies from around the country. That’s why fluctuating pH levels are prone to fluctuation.
‘Neutral water is 7 pH, therefore anything that lowers the pH drastically could cause acidic water’, Jim said. ‘The issue of acidic water can result in the consumer experiencing bitter or metallic tasting drinks. Ideally a minimum of 6.5 should be observed in all coffee and tea machines, where possible.
‘Another issue in the industry is machine reliability due to scale build up’, said Jim. ‘This costs the industry millions each year in terms of wasted man hours and that’s why people have been desperately trying to find a solution.’
Then, in October, came the news that the company’s MCM Express Fit parts and tubing – H2O Direct are the official distributors for MCM products in the UK and Europe – had achieved WRAS approval.
Happy days – and another was to come, namely 7th November, when H2O Direct enjoyed a wildly successful Vendex North. Activity has continued right up until the decking of the halls and the mulling of the wine, with the announcement that capacity is to be increases across the entire IEN Range. In short, the IEN2000 will become the IEN3000, IEN4000 changes to IEN6000 and IEN6000 will be the huge IEN9000. These increases in capacity will give H2O Direct customers more for their money as the filter prices are frozen at the same low rates.
Finally, there’s the introduction of a rather risqué trade press advert – we’ve reproduced it below so we don’t have to describe it…
‘It has been a great year for us’, Jim Redford said, ‘but the exciting thing is that 2018 is gearing up to be even more exciting.’
Rest assured that whatever the company gets up to in the New Year, you’ll read about it first right here on PV.