Coffee culture in the UK is constantly changing, and in recent years the popularity of coffee based beverages has been consistently growing. No high street would be complete without at least one coffee shop, with most sporting at least a few, and the big brands seeming to have a presence in every area of the country.
But just how much have things changed over the last few years? Has the rise of the flat white pushed it to the top of the charts, and how popular are niche drinks like the Starbucks Frappuccino really?
Biggest coffee chains
It will not come as much of a surprise that Costa Coffee are the current kings of the high street. Even looking at all of Europe, Costa still have more sites than Starbucks which is a massive feat for a UK based brand. Starbucks of course aren’t far behind, with McDonalds McCafé offering coming in third place. There are only a few hundred sites between the top 3 though, so the European market is actually much more closely contested than UK high streets would have you believe.
Below is a list of the top 5 coffee chains in Europe in 2017:
- Costa – 2,755 outlets
- Starbucks – 2,406 outlets
- McCafé – 2,253 outlets
- Caffe Nero – 755 outlets
- Greggs – 498 outlets
Best-selling coffee types
Despite the heavy marketing push from most of the major brands, the flat white still trails behind the more well-established beverages. Market research has shown that the top 3 by quite some way are lattes, cappuccinos and americanos. The “other” category which contains all of the niche drinks combined technically sold more than americanos, but as this covers everything from a black filter coffee to a huge foam filled Frappuccino, it’s not really fair to consider this a single drink. It does show though that there is a real market for speciality coffee in the UK, which is likely to keep becoming more and more popular each year.
Options are everything
As the statistics clearly show, being able to offer a wide variety of options is absolutely vital for any business with a coffee offering in the UK. Especially considering the number of different coffee shops available, versatility is a key factor in making sure you don’t get left behind.
That’s why WMF have developed the MyCoffee app, which allows users to personalise their drinks by altering the strength, and the milk to coffee ratio. You can also save your favourites and share them with your friends or colleagues.
Download a brochure to see the full range of WMF coffee machines and related products.
Image source: BBC website.