There will be more than 12,500 coffee shop outlets in the UK by the end of 2012 as coffee culture becomes "fully entrenched in modern UK lifestyle", experts predicted today.
The ninth annual UK Project Café report, from analyst firm Allegra Strategies, shows that the coffee shop market achieved £1.63b in sales in 2009, up 6.2% on 2008.
The total UK coffee shop market, including branded chains, independents and non-specialist operators, will be reach more than 11,000 outlets at the end of 2009, the report says.
Branded coffee chains will begin to outperform the retail sector as café culture becomes more ingrained through the UK, with the market reaching 12,500 outlets by December 2012, it adds.
The report also highlights the growing influence that high quality niche independent coffee shops are exerting on the branded chains. Reacting to consumer demand for value for money and authentic, artisanal, high quality coffee will help operators retain loyalty and increase sales, it says.
While the recession has claimed some of the "weaker operators" such as BB's Coffee & Muffins, Coffee Republic, O'Briens and Tchibo, demand for coffee is holding up, with more than half of the 5,000 consumers surveyed by Allegra reporting that they visit coffee shops the same frequency as last year. Average spend only dropped slightly - to £3.50 from £3.59 in 2008.
Jeffrey Young, managing director of Allegra Strategies, said: "The UK coffee shop industry is on the threshold of some very exciting times. After demonstrating resilience in the recent recession, branded coffee chains are poised for continued growth as coffee culture becomes fully entrenched in modern UK lifestyle."
By Daniel Thomas
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