Quick service restaurants (QSRs) in the UK have boosted their coffee servings three times faster than mainstream coffee shops since 2008, a study released today by The NPD Group has revealed.
Since 2008 specialist coffee chains have increased individual coffee servings by 21%, while coffee sales in QSRs have gone up by 63%. Pubs have also realised the importance of coffee and have increased servings by 18% since 2008.
The appeal of coffee has allowed operators to use it as a way of entering new eating opportunities, claims market researcher NPD. As QSR operators have started to invest in coffee for breakfast and snacking, coffee shops have responded by trying to take a bite of their lunch business, which generates over 50% more spend than that produced by customers who just want snacks.
Although coffee shops now generate 27% of their traffic at lunchtime, they have only been able to achieve a marginal increase in their share of food servings to date as a result. And with other foodservice operators undercutting the coffee specialists by as much as £1.30 on a regular Americano, they must sell other items to maintain their profit margins.
Coffee shops are working hard to boost visits too. Britain’s well-known coffee outlets have increased visits from 120 million a year in 2008 to 659 million in the 12 months up to June 2017, a 22% increase.
They have boosted visits faster than the wider QSR sector, which rose by 10% between 2008 and 2017.
Foodservice director UK at the NPD Group Cyril Lavenant said: “Britain’s coffee market is highly competitive, with specialist outlets not just competing against each other but also taking on the high street QSR brands. Quality coffee is now available in a huge variety of locations: fast food restaurants, sandwich shops, bakeries, supermarkets and convenience stores, high street retailers, tourist attractions, and of course petrol stations.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that offering high-quality coffee is the lifeblood of the British foodservice market. It provides a route for foodservice operators to serve customers from their menu throughout the day, from coffee with breakfast to coffee after a dinner out.”
He continued: “What’s fascinating about the coffee market is that we are seeing new independents performing just as well as the bigger, established coffee chains. Consumers want something innovative and even quirky to try, and they believe that local outlets will have a superior range of products.”
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