The UK coffee shop sector has remained resilient in recession, despite several key players having gone into administration, according to Allegra Strategies’ Project Café9 UK report, but slower growth is forecast for 2010. The market, made up of more than 11,000 outlets, saw growth of 6.2% in 2009, with sales totalling £1.63bn.
Allegra forecasts that 2010 and 2011 will see the total market rise by 4.4% per annum to exceed 12,500 outlets by December 2012.
Looking to the future, Allegra said, "branded coffee chains are expected to outperform the retail sector", as café culture becomes further ingrained in our society. The report also noted the addition of a ’Third Wave’ of coffee shops, as an increasing number of artisan independent coffee houses, with an Antipodean coffee culture, are springing up across the country.
Coffee shop operators have noticed a decrease in the frequency of visits from consumers, as well as a decline in like-for-like sales, with average spend down from £3.59 to £3.50. But the top brands have managed to achieve positive comparable store sales growth across the year.
"The study’s conclusion is that the UK coffee market is still experiencing strong growth, driven by consumer choice, which reflects our experience in the marketplace." commented Gerry Ford, chairman and chief executive of Caffè Nero.