Instant coffee from traditional vending machines or via the kettle is increasingly becoming a thing of the past, as consumption of higher-quality coffee in the workplace booms, fuelling value growth of the market, according to new research.
In its report, UK Coffee at Work, Allegra Strategies said that spending by UK workers on their coffee habits had rocketed since 2000 and is predicted to have nearly doubled to reach £1.18 billion by the end of 2008.
It said there had been a growing "retailisation" of workplace coffee, with the flight to higher quality being inspired by the spread of high street coffee shops, such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee, and a corresponding reduction in catering facilities provided by employers.
"However, while the value of this coffee consumption has grown strongly, volumes have increased modestly - rising to an estimated 6.06 billion cups of coffee - eqivalent to 26.3m cups a working day and to one cup for every full-time worker in 2008," the report stated.
A slight moderation in average daily coffee intake per employee, coupled with healthier drinking trends and the rising participation of women in the workforce were cited as reasons for the constrained volume growth.
Allegra estimated that roast and ground coffee currently accounted for a quarter of all workplace coffee. And it predicted that the market will have grown in value by 31% to £1.55bn by 2013.