Coffee Industry in the UK
The coffee industry has grown rapidly since the 1990s; before Starbucks emerged, people were used to drinking low quality coffee from tins. Starbucks introduced fresh coffee made from top quality beans that have excellent taste and drinks such as the caffe latte and cappuccino, which have helped to fuel the development of the coffee market into a multi million pound industry. The size of UK branded coffee chains have quadrupled from 1999 to 2004, with a current market turnover of over £1 billion.
2 Market Forecasts
The coffee market is forecast for continued growth and expansion, without threat of saturation in the near future. In 2004 the coffee market was estimated at having around 2,299 outlet units and it 2006 it is predicted that the number of units will have increased to an estimated 2,965, with the growth of the branded coffee sector predicted to increase by 11% between 2004 and 2006. Indeed, branded chain outlets have accounted for most of the coffee market growth according to forecasts by industry analysts Allegra Strategies. Allegra claims that although there are more independents than branded coffee chains, in 2005 and 2006 it is expected that more branded than independent chains will be opening. Indeed, some independents. such as Bewley’s in London, have had to close down.
3 Macro - environment analysis of the market
The coffee market must adapt to a change in consumer attitudes or else it may be threatened by health and lifestyle issues. In 2003 the hot drinks market declined by an estimated 2.3%. Consumers, especially young people, are becoming more health conscious which makes coffee a less attractive choice; the increasing number of alternatives available such as health and energy drinks are becoming competitors in the coffee industry. Research carried out by Mintel shows that there is an increased diversification of tea, with a trend towards premium and herbal teas. The coffee industry are responded to this change in attitude by provision of de-caf drinks, options such as soy milk, and alternative drinks such as freshly squeezed fruit juices, chai lattes and herbal teas.
People are now working harder than ever before but have more leisure time; they now use coffee shops to socialise. Allegra research claims that dwelling time in coffee shops has increased; 44.9% of consumers stay for longer than 30 minutes, compared with 38.5% in 2003.
High standards relating particularly to coffee producing methods are becoming more important in the industry and may gain political prominence. There is increasing pressure for businesses to trade ethically, that is, socially, environmentally, and economically responsible.
This is reflected in the coffee industry by an increased demand and rising market value for sustainable coffees such as certified coffee and fair trade coffee, which guarantees a fair price to producers. The fair trade market which is now worth £100...