‘Coffee shops to be more popular in UK than pubs by 2030′

Good news for wholesalers who deal with coffee shops – the glossy magazine Harper’s Bazaar today (March 22) reported that the number of coffee shops in the UK is set to overtake the number of pubs by 2030.

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association currently values the on-trade wine industry at £4.2bn, and the on-trade spirits industry at £5.8bn, while the coffee industry in the UK is estimated to be worth £8.9bn.

A staggering 2.3 billion cups of coffee are served in the UK each year, with the value of the industry rising by 12% in the last year. The magazine’s research implies that coffee culture may soon overtake the UK’s established drinking and pub culture, with pubs closing at a similar rate to coffee shops opening (an average of 3.4 per week).

At this current rate, estimates put the number of coffee shops over-taking pubs by 2030 as Brits continue to swap lager for lattes. There are now around 23,000 coffee shops across the UK, a combination of non-specialists, independents, and major chains such as Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero. 1,222 stores opened in the last year alone.

Sales in independent and branded chains continue to grow. The big three chains contribute 19% of the total coffee shop sales with market leader Costa recording a sales growth of 8% and Starbucks and Caffe Nero’s sales growing by 9% and 7% respectively.

The data also shows 39% of Brits stated their coffee consumption has increased over the past 12 months, and a further 48% of coffee lovers kept their consumption the same in 2016, keeping the UK’s 150,000 baristas busier than ever.

Clean-living millennials (aged between 18 and about 35) drink less alcohol than the previous generation and are ditching pub crawls in favour of ‘juice crawls’ and drunkenness for ‘mindfulness’.

UK Coffee Week (this week) was founded in 2011 and engages coffee shops across the country to raise money for Project Waterfall, a charity that works to deliver clean drinking water and sanitation to coffee growing communities across the globe. Since inception, the charity has raised over £600,000, changing over 23,000 lives in coffee growing communities.

“The UK has embraced coffee culture in a phenomenal way that has seen the industry grow and thrive to the size it is today – and it’s continuing,” Jeffrey Young, founder of UK Coffee Week, told Harper’s Bazaar.

“Through the combination of coffee-shop growth and the premiumisation of at-home coffee, the UK’s coffee offer is one of the best in the world,” he added.


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