The English are traditionally known as a nation of tea drinkers, but market research reveals that they are also big fans of coffee. Independent market intelligence provider Mintel valued the UK coffee market at Â£782 million in 2009, and predicted that it would grow by nearly 25% by 2014.
It is difficult to predict the future of such ventures because even though the Brits are long standing coffee lovers, they still have to deal with stiff competition from other brands that might have the Best Single Serve Coffee Makers even with tea being the ultimate for many of them in the long run so Gourmet Coffee does have its own standing.
Brits have traditionally used instant coffee to get their caffeine fix at home, and this preference is still entrenched in the UK population: 80% of the total value of coffee sales came from instant coffee during 2009. However, consumers are increasingly turning away from cheaper brands of instant coffee and are instead choosing brands at the higher end of the market. Sales of premium instant coffee rose by 44% in the five years leading up to the release of Mintel’s 2010 report.
A taste for fresh gourmet coffee is also developing in England, particularly among the younger generation. Coffee retailers such as Starbucks have become a common feature on British high streets over the past few years, and terms such as latte, mocha, and macchiato are gradually entering the vocabulary of the average Brit. An increasing number of people in England are now seeking to replicate the coffee shop experience at home, and sales of espresso machines are growing. UK high street retailers such as John Lewis now stock extensive ranges of coffee makers, which means that gourmet coffee is more accessible than ever in England.
One of the most notable trends in the UK coffee market is the growing preference for coffee that has been ethically and sustainably produced. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental and social problems that exist in many coffee-growing regions and want to use their purchasing power to influence positive change. Fairtrade coffee accounted for 5% of the value of UK coffee sales in 2009, and its share of the market is growing all the time. Consumers like to know that the producers of the food and drink they consume are getting a fair deal, which the Fairtrade brand guarantees.
One might expect the recession to impact negatively on coffee sales, but this does not seem to be the case in the UK. As families tighten their belts, many people find themselves working long hours, and popping out of the office for a cup of coffee is seen by many as an affordable treat that helps to keep them motivated and happy. Analysis shows that although people are cutting back on the amount they spend on big items, such as cars, holidays, and electronic gadgets, small luxuries such as gourmet coffee are still within the reach of most people, even those whose budgets are being stretched. The recent rise in at-home coffee consumption (sales in this area grew by 17% between 2005 and 2009) could possibly be linked to people dining at home more frequently and swapping nights out for quiet evenings in due to financial constraints. At the same time, the ever-growing popularity of Fairtrade coffee in the UK suggests that tight budgets are not enough to make the citizens of this nation abandon their ethical principles.