Catering equipment suppliers with strong links into the coffee shop market should expect no let-up in business over the next few years after it was predicted that 4,000 new outlets will spring up in the UK between now and 2018.
The total UK coffee shop market is currently estimated at 16,500 outlets, with the turnover of the sector growing 6% to £6.2 billion last year.
That figure is only set to increase, according to Allegra Strategies, which predicts that the total UK coffee shop market will exceed 20,500 outlets and a turnover of £8.7 billion by 2018.
“The UK coffee shop industry is showing consistent strong growth in both sales and outlets,” said Allegra Strategies’ managing director, Jeffrey Young.
“The UK consumer increasingly appreciates a quality cup of coffee and operators must continue to deliver innovation, fantastic quality while genuinely engaging with customers in order to stay ahead of the curve.”
The branded coffee shop segment, which includes the likes of Starbucks and Costa, is growing faster than the overall market, at 9% a year. More than 300 new branded outlets opened in the UK during 2013, taking the total to 5,530 outlets. Turnover grew to £2.6 billion.
Costa Coffee (1,670 outlets), Starbucks (790) and Caffe Nero (560) remain the UK’s largest brands with 54% branded chain market outlet share.
Allegra forecasts that the branded coffee shop segment will be worth £4.1 billion across 7,000 outlets by 2018. It estimates that the UK has the long-term potential to “comfortably” host more than 9,500 branded coffee shops.
The company also noted that the significant growth of new, corporate-backed chains such as Tesco’s Harris + Hoole signalled a “new era of competition”.