Coffee drinkers increased their visits to coffee shops in 2010 despite the recession, according to new research by Allegra Strategies.
The findings, part of Allegra's Project Café 10 report, showed that coffee has now become a £5b-turnover industry, with high street chains dominating the sector.
Whitbread's Costa Coffee is now the biggest brand in the UK, ahead of Starbucks and Caffe Nero. But the sector has also seen growth from the likes of McDonalds and JD Wetherspoon, which added 468 outlets between them - accounting for 54% of growth in the last year.
"I have never seen such exciting developments in the UK coffee shop market," Allegra managing director Jeffrey Young told Dow Jones Newswires. "This year the market grew by more than 12% compared with 2.5% for the UK retail sector, adding more than 800 outlets in 2010 in challenging economic times."
"The market is poised for significant further growth over the next 3 to 5 years."
By Neil Gerrard
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