The Project Café 2016 report revealed sales at the UK’s 20,728 coffee shops grew by 10% in the last year to £7.9bn and estimated the number of outlets would exceed 30,000 over the next decade.
Costa Coffee (1,992 outlets), Starbucks Coffee Company (849) and Caffè Nero (620) remain the UK’s leading brands with a 53% share of the branded chain market, the research showed.
Physical expansion by leading chains was cited as a strong growth driver – Costa added 171 UK outlets and enjoyed sales growth of 14% in 2015.
The non-specialist sector, comprising pubs, fast food outlets, supermarkets and retail stores, also experienced outlet growth of 10.5% reaching 7,976 establishments with a strong coffee offering.
Supermarkets added a further 322 outlets, driven by Morrisons adding a further 270 cafés to reach 398, second to Tesco with 481 coffee shops and cafés.
Artisan chain Harris + Hoole was ranked number one for coffee quality in Allegra’s survey of more than 16,000 consumers, while Costa emerged the top seller of speciality coffee with an estimated 169 million cups sold annually.
The findings also revealed that coffee shop visitors drank an estimated 2.2 billion cups of coffee per year in coffee houses.
“The strong market growth of the past 12 months has exceeded our own estimates,” said Jeffrey Young, MD of the Allegra Group. “This provides further evidence of the growing importance of coffee shops to the British economy and, more importantly, their impact on the daily lives of everyday consumers. With a market now valued at £7.9bn, no-one can ignore the fact that coffee is big business.”