Ireland’s coffee shop market is outperforming the Irish retail sector with sales growth of 14%. 

According to Allegra World Coffee Portal’s report, Project Café2015 Ireland, the coffee shop market has grown in the past 12 months, driven by the expansion of leading players like Insomnia, Costa and Starbucks.

Insomnia is the market leader with 96 units and a 31% outlet market share. It has major expansion plans and several new partnerships including Debenhams, Compass and Spar UK.

Allegra World Coffee Portal predicts the total coffee shop market in Ireland will exceed 750 outlets and €610m turnover by 2020, driven by branded coffee chain expansion and non-specialist operator growth. The branded coffee shop segment is forecast to exceed €360m across 515 outlets by 2020, with outlets predicted to see a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and revenue at 14.5% CAGR over the next five years.

Ireland, traditionally a tea-drinking nation, is catching up to the UK in terms of coffee drinkers. Now, 83% of coffee shop visitors drink coffee at least once a month and 62% drink coffee daily, compared to the UK where 95% of coffee shop visitors drink coffee at least once a month and 75% drink coffee daily.

The report said the “third wave” in the artisan coffee segment had influenced operator and consumer expectations about quality coffee and store design. There has also been a greater commitment to coffee credentials from the non-specialist sector, such as fast food, supermarkets and retail stores, adding to competitive pressures.