It’s said that history repeats itself. At the start of the Eighteenth Century coffee houses sprung-up across the United Kingdom the amount of coffee and sugar consumed was so phenomenal compared with the rest of Europe that it’s been said in half-jest that the British Empire was built on a caffeine and sugar rush. Now according to a report from Allegra World Coffee Portal, once again Britain is expected to see an unprecedented growth in coffee consumption.
Speciality Versus Branded
A key feature of the report is the distinction between speciality and branded coffee shops. The branded shops are the familiar Starbucks, Café Nero, and Costa Coffee. The Speciality shops singled-out in the report are defined as those serving coffee with a distinctive character, no primary defects, and scoring 80 or higher in the Specialty Coffee Association of America supping protocol. In practical terms, this means coffee that is uniquely roasted. Of the 180 specialty coffee roasters operating in the UK, 61 per cent have been roasting two years or less. Not to be left behind, branded coffee shops will be adopting speciality practices.
The Bottom Line
The number of independent specialty coffee shops in the UK is expected to double to 2,800 by 2020 with an annual growth rate of 12 per cent. Allegra claims that 65 per cent of the specialty coffee retailers interviewed for the report intended opening a new store within three years. The roasted specialty market is currently valued at just under £60 million, with an estimated 16 per cent growth rate analysts expect that number to reach £123 million by 2020.
The Bigger Picture
The economic ramifications of this growth will no doubt include a boost to those industries that service the speciality coffee market. The obvious beneficiaries are those along the supply chain, from coffee growers and dealer to transporters. Closer to home, the suppliers of the cups, the pastries, and businesses like FFD Ltd, who supply commercial fridge and freezer solutions, will all benefit.
The kinds of growth outlined in the report are a boon for consumers looking for a high standard of product and service, the coffee producers and shippers, workers in the service industry, as well as those in auxiliary industries such as bakers, dairy farmers and sugar producers. The coffee tide is rising and many boats are set to rise with it.