Europe’s flourishing coffee shop market could represent a lucrative new export opportunity for British bakery companies well versed in supplying the demanding UK market.

According to a new report from Allegra Strategies, the European branded coffee shop market has grown by 9% this year to a total of 9,360 stores in 22 countries. The sector is predicted to grow by 7% per year over the next two years.

The UK is the most developed market by far, with 3,864 outlets or 40% of the total European market, but Germany and Spain are both well-established, with 1,302 and 882 branded outlets respectively. Poland and France are the fastest-growing larger markets.

Simon Waring, UK MD of export agency the Green Seed Group, said the experience of British bakery companies could stand them in good stead when it comes to exports. "British food firms are used to meeting the high standards and requirements set by British retailers, which are the toughest in Europe, so they are in a strong position," he said.

Starbucks is the leading chain across Europe, trading from more than 1,180 outlets, while McDonald’s McCafé is the fastest-growing coffee concept, with 889 outlets.