< Back to news 25 May, 2017

Consumers spending an average of £54m per week on speciality coffees

We recently conducted research into consumer spending habits in the hot beverages category, which showed that consumers are now spending an average of £54m per week on speciality coffees, with 40% of people now ordering a speciality drink at least once a week.

What’s more, 35% of consumers opt for coffee as their first drink of the day, compared to 15% who said water and just 8% who said juice.

It’s very clear that the speciality coffee market is booming, with the “third wave” coffee movement spilling out of high street chains and into foodservice and hospitality – in fact, 21% of drinkers told Beacon they have changed their standard coffee order over the last two years. Of those surveyed, almost a quarter of consumers said that speciality coffees were their favourite hot beverages, so operators need to identify the opportunities in this market and capitalise on them.


Looking at which products are proving most popular, the Australian flat white that entered the market only recently is now the drink of choice for 4% of drinkers, while 20% would go for either a latte or cappuccino. With this said, lattes are most popular amongst 18 – 24 year olds, whereas those in the 45+ demographic are more in favour of a cappuccino.

In terms of the frequency of purchase in varying demographics, it’s 25 – 34 year olds that are driving the most growth, with 57% of this group drinking speciality drinks on at least a weekly basis. Within this age range, 18% of respondents said they order speciality coffees on a daily basis, compared to just 7% of 18-24 year olds.

Special coffee

With trends in consumer tastes shifting, many businesses are now also looking to replicate the coffee shop style look and feel to their establishment. It is therefore essential that a certain quality is upheld, with staff training being central to this.

There are more and more speciality products entering the market now, with a big US, Australian and New Zealand influence. With so much choice in the market, it can often be the case that the customer will need help with simply knowing what to order. The hot beverages marketplace is extremely competitive and as the range of drinks on offer expands, along with consumer expectations, staff must be in a position to confidently advise on what they’re offering, making it easier to upsell where possible.

One of Beacon’s leading hot beverage suppliers, Brodies, runs dedicated barista training programmes and produces an in-depth training guide for baristas to have on hand, which is constantly updated and developed. The barista training now covers how to create perfect latte art, which for some outlets has become a key element in appealing to their target demographic.

Another of our suppliers Matthew Algie also recognises the importance of barista training. They advise taking the time to train your staff in having an extensive knowledge of the product, such as where beans come from and how they were processed. By having this expertise, operators can offer an enhanced coffee experience and communicate provenance to the customer, which is more likely to create brand loyalty and drive repeat custom

For more information about Beacon please visit www.beaconpurchasing.co.uk or follow Beacon on Twitter @Beacon_YPP.