Coffee shop sales up 9.3% amid boom for sector

by Hannah Thompson, Wednesday 8th January 2014 08:37

Sales for the 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 2013 Project Café 13 UK report, from strategic analysis company Allegra Strategies 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 increase 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, with corporate-backed shops such as Tesco’s Harris + Hoole proving that competition is still thriving.

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).

Jeffrey Young, Allegra Strategies’ managing director, said: “The UK coffee shop industry is showing consistent strong growth in both sales and outlets.  Britain is now a nation of great coffee drinkers.

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