The coming recession is unlikely to affect Costa Coffee’s store expansion plans though pricing on food could come under pressure, Costa’s MD John Derkach told British Baker.

Despite reports that people are cutting back on coffee shop visits he said the chain had not yet felt the need to adapt its pricing on coffee. "We haven’t felt the pressure thus far. Clearly there’s no cause for complacency, as you cannot predict what’s going to happen tomorrow let alone next year," he said.

However, he added that food, such as sandwiches and cakes, which represents around 30% of Costa’s business compared to 70% for coffee, may come under review. "Sandwiches and cakes are important to our business and it might be appropriate to look at the pricing of those in different ways. But more importantly, we’d look at developing slightly different products."

He added that the economic climate has not affected Costa’s expansion plans.

"We might have to think twice about certain sites but there are still huge opportunities to grow, so we haven’t changed the rate of expansion. It’s constantly under review and we can turn that tap off and on at short notice, if we need to."


=== Costa Barista of the Year ===

Costa Coffee has awarded Kat Finch, from Costa at Strensham Roadchef Service Station, its official world Barista champion. Twenty-year-old Kat competed against nine other finalists from all over the world at the annual Costa Barista of the Year Competition held at Costa’s Roastery in London.