30 April 2019, 13:41 PM
  • The popularity of 'a cup of joe' is reaching new heights, and little wonder - the varieties on offer are enough to tempt any and all aficionados
Coffee industry spotlight

For anyone within the food and drink industry – or even with a passing interest in it – the stats will come as no surprise. 79% of Brits drank coffee in the month to June 2018 according to Mintel’s Coffee UK 2018 report, with the drink outranking the nation’s most iconic beverage – tea – when it came to out of house purchases. More consumers drank coffee on the go than tea and hot chocolate combined (76%, 39% and 35%, respectively), Mintel stated [Coffee Shops UK 2018], while estimating that the UK coffee shop market would reach a value of £3.75 million, a growth of 7.3%.

This spells opportunity for independent retailers looking to open an on-site cafe, or even just invest more attention in their retail coffee selection. Quality, the hallmark of the indie, plays a big role in the rise of coffee in the UK. “When it comes to coffee, a good espresso is no longer a luxury, it’s an expected standard,” says Trish Caddy, senior foodservice analyst at Mintel. “Elsewhere, thirst for premium specialty products like single-origin coffees and super-premium small batches is causing these products to inch towards the mainstream. With a plethora of options available to stock and serve, is now the time to jump on the bandwagon – and is fresh coffee always preferable to instant?

According to the Coffee UK 2018 report, the British shopper seems to think so. 58% believe that coffee made from grounds tastes better than instant coffee, while 20% would
be embarrassed to serve instant coffee to house guests. However, something that instant coffee brands have the upper hand on is variety. Take Little’s – while it boasts a rare five varieties of flavour-infused ground coffees, it has a portfolio of 11 flavoured instant coffees ranging from Hazelnut and Amaretto to Maple Walnut and Chocolate Orange. A thirst for variation is reflected in Mintel’s research on coffee shops, too. Mintel’s Trish Caddy states that, “With four in five coffee drinkers wanting to customise their drink, coffee shops that offer create-your-own options will thrive in today’s challenging high street conditions.”

Read the entire interview in the March/April issue of Speciality Food, available to download for free here.