The Brits' love for coffee continues to grow unabated with sales in speciality shops increasing by 5% since 2009, according to new figures from global information company the NPD Group.
With the sale of 1.4 billion cups of coffee, Britain was the only nation to see an increase in servings in 2012, compared with 2011, when measured against France, Germany, Italy and Spain. However, the country is still a long way behind Italy, which continues to serve 5.3 billion cups of speciality coffee annually.
Breakfast visits to coffee shops, in particular, have seen an increase with visits first thing in the morning rising by 9% on average every year between 2009 and 2012. Breakfast now accounts for just under 20% of total out-of-home eating, with an extra 25.6 million visits each year compared with 2009.
Overall, the amount of coffee consumed in the coffee shops in-house has increased by 3.5% between 2011 and 2012, with visits from 18 to 24-year-olds growing by 12% in the same period.
Increased coffee consumption is not just restricted to the speciality coffee shops either, as sandwich shops, bakeries and supermarkets are also getting in on the act. The service of coffee in sandwich shops has risen from 10.5% to 13% and in bakeries 6.7% to 11.3% .
Tesco has shown its interest in the market with its investment in high street coffee chain Hoole and Harris, which is managed by the team behind Taylor Street, a small chain of coffee shops in London.
Guy Fielding, director of business development for the NPD Group, said: "There is no doubt that British consumers have embraced a coffee culture and have become far more sophisticated and educated in their tastes. While the core coffee chains were the first to capitalise on this trend, the high street sandwich shops and bakeries, not to mention pubs and even petrol forecourts, are all getting in on the action."