Coffee shop revolution goes on
2 July, 2012
The UK’s appetite for coffee shows no sign of abating despite the flood of coffee shops on the high street, reports the Guardian.
There are now more than 5,000 branded coffee shops across the UK, sharing a £2bn market last year. The independent sector has roughly the same number, as does the collection of pubs, corner shops and other places selling coffee—bringing the total number of outlets to more than 15,000. The concentration now is such that some roads, like Holloway Road in London and Gloucester Road in Bristol, have more than 20 places to buy a coffee. And the UK-wide number is likely to grow to at least 18,000 over the next few years, according to Allegra Strategies.
Many of the openings will come from Costa Coffee, which will add 350 stores over the next year and is targeting 2,000 in all, on the back of what Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said was a swelling customer base. “The customer profile has massively expanded. There was a time when this was a habit of the middle classes, but now it is a mainstream activity. It has become part of people’s daily lives.”
But Costa’s arch-rival Starbucks has been among the “strugglers” in the UK, says the Guardian—though it is “undergoing a radical image overhaul to make it appear more British.” Its breakdown of the UK market puts Costa’s market share at 40.4%, well ahead of Starbucks on 30.7%. Caffe Nero (14.0%) completes the big three, with AMT Coffee (1.7%), Caffe Ritazza (1.4%) and Café Thorntons (0.9%) the next ranked chains.
Other trends in the market include an increasing interest in the provenance of coffee and the process by which it is made. The skills of baristas are also becoming more appreciated, with a career in coffee now a serious option for the best of them.
For the full story, see Coffee shop revolution continues to stimulate the high street.