Increasing numbers of bakeries and sandwich shops are promoting breakfast coffees, according to new data from The NPD Group.

It has revealed that the importance of speciality coffee within the quick-service bakery sector is up 6.7% to 11.3%, and has risen in the quick-service sandwich channel from 10.5% to 13%.

There were 1.4bn servings of speciality coffee in the UK in the last year, with consumers purchasing coffee at breakfast time, a growing trend.

In addition to growth in take-away coffees, on-premise consumption has also increased, with visits up by 3.5% between 2011 and 2012, said the research firm. This increase in the popularity of coffee at breakfast, mirrors the increasing number of consumers eating breakfast out-of-home.

Women and young people saw the biggest increase in visits – up 4.3% and 12% respectively, from 2011 to 2012.

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.”

He added that while the serve-in breakfast is great news for the likes of Caffè Nero, where this occasion accounts for just over a quarter of their total visits, the snacking occasion is slowing in growth, which is impacting on some quick-service operators.

“In spite of the coffee uplift at breakfast, all the branded coffee players are still feeling the impact of the slower snacking market, most notably Costa Coffee, where snacking constitutes 57% of all visits – the highest among the ‘big three’,” added Fielding.