Research by Beacon purchasing into consumer spending habits in the hot beverages category, has revealed 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.
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.