Coffee market trends
We’re known as a nation of tea drinkers, but it’s safe to say we love our coffee. In fact, we put away over 1.7bn cups of coffee every year, making it the most popular hot drink in the country. For many of us, coffee is a pick-me-up, providing the boost we need first thing in the morning. For others, it’s a habit. Tastes vary hugely, from the traditional black filter to the more recent rise of flavoured takeaway coffees.
Our recent Food and Drink Market Report studies the way in which some companies have responded to changing consumer trends by embracing the concept of feel-good branding. With an upward trend in coffee consumption, let’s take a look at how the world’s biggest coffee chains are embracing feel-good branding to achieve market success.
Current state of the coffee market
Before we can examine future trends, we need to understand where the coffee market is now. Initial research informs us of top-level market trends, like the popularity of coffee compared to other hot drinks and just how many cups, on average, we consume each day. We then discovered where these sales are coming from; where consumers are getting their coffee fix. Using this information, we can determine just which brands are winning at the coffee chain game and begin to figure out how.
Surprising coffee forerunner
At the forefront of the closely contested coffee market is Costa, currently the market leader. With almost 2,000 stores in the UK and a record of consistent growth across the year, they have outdone high street rivals such as Starbucks and Caffè Nero to reach top spot through textbook feel-good branding, in this case staff training, innovative advertising strategies, and feel-good messaging.
“We take crafting of coffees incredibly seriously”, says Costa brand and innovation director Carol Welch, “each barista has to go through a number of tests before they are let loose on the public, so to speak. For me, those 45,000 team members is how you deliver a brand.”
By concentrating on their customers’ needs, specifically the pricing of their coffee and how this contributes to the customers’ overall consumer experiences, this company has raced headlong into the coffee market. Costa is now averaging sales of 1m coffees a week, according to the food and drinks consultancy CGA Peach.
The rise of fizzy coffee
This one was new to us, but we can certainly see the appeal. The latest trend to sweep the coffee market comes from Italy and involves the simple process of adding sparkling water and sugar to a chilled espresso for both a cool drink and refreshing market success.
This drink is a perfect example of feel-good product selection, and how large companies respond to consumer trends. Popular in the summer, it reflected a simple need to make customers feel good by cooling them down. It also met with general food and drink trends for increasing exoticism and variety, as well as health trends.
Grab a cup and enjoy!
The coffee market is as energetic as the drink suggests. By responding with agility to changing consumer trends, both new and established coffee chains are fighting a bitter battle for market leadership. What is clear is that the winners are using feel-good branding and strong market awareness to appeal to and engage with the largest consumer bases.
By producing products that meet these specifications, and marketing them with appropriate feel-good advertising, coffee shops throughout the UK have either begun or are beginning to cater for this consumer trend with both commercial and branding success. Expect more coffee shops to embrace this new product type over coming years.
We’ve only touched the surface here — for a comprehensive overview of how coffee fits into the wider food and drink market, check out our free food and drink market report.