Sales for the UK coffee shop sector grew last year by 9.3% and saw outlet growth of nearly 5.9% thanks to outlets regularly “refreshing” their offer, a new report into the industry has shown.
This makes the sector one of the most successful in the UK economy ‒ and it is still growing comfortably, the report concludes.
Major factors in this success include coffee shops’ ability to “refresh” their image, the continued social meeting “hub” element of coffee shops, Britons’ regular and predictable coffee-drinking habits, and increased competition from other high-street food and drink outlets such as pubs, fast-food chains and supermarkets.
The sector has also been helped by the increased prevalence of “artisan” coffee and its attendant “cool” image, says the report.
Notwithstanding, the big players – Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Caffe Nero ‒ take up 54% of the branded chain outlet market share, with Costa adding a total of 118 stores in the year 2013.
Increased “consumer participation”, coffee quality and 24-hour availability are likely to be the elements to focus on in 2014 onwards, with the report predicting that the coffee shop sector will be worth £8.7b by 2018 across 20,500 outlets (with £4.1b of that focused on the predicted 7,000 branded shops).
This is not the first report this week to predict good things for coffee: a Horizons study also showed that coffee shops could look forward to a like-for-like boost by Spring this year as consumers’ finances recover from Christmas and coffee-drinkers look to “treat themselves”.