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Is the café culture changing in the UK?

Stereotypically it is thought that British people only drink tea but in fact we drink around 70 million cups of coffee each day. That is still a lot less than the 165 million cups of tea we drink daily. However, the tea consumption in the UK has dropped by about a fifth since 2010.


Almost 75% of Britons buy coffee when they are out and this is especially popular in the 16–34 category, where this figure is 81%.


History of coffee shops in the UK.


The first cup of coffee in Britain was brewed in 1637 by an international student at Oxford University. Coffee got off to a rocky start in Britain with King Charles II banning coffee houses in 1675 in case they were a place where people could meet to conspire about him. By the end of the 18th century these coffee houses fell away as the new fashion of tea took its place. Coffee shops didn’t become popular again until the end of the 20th century with companies like Starbucks and Costa “re-inventing” the coffee house.


We have come a long way to where now coffee is the second most important commodity in the World. In 2015, the number of coffee shops in the UK was sitting at 20,728 and this is set to grow to more than 30,000 shops by the time we hit 2025. The brits spend around £15,600 in coffee shops over their lifetime.


In the UK, 80% of us visit coffee shops on a weekly basis with 16% of us visiting on a daily basis.


We are also a nation that is becoming more and more interested in speciality coffee. Coffee drinkers are seeking a more artisanal and high quality coffee experience. Products like cold brew, nitro coffee and coffee with non-dairy milk are becoming increasingly popular with the British. Cafes need to be constantly expanding their menu and looking at the new coffee trend.


And coffee shops are continuing to pop up!


By 2025, it is expected that coffee shops in Britain will reach a turnover of £15 billion. In 2015, this turnover was sitting at £7.9 billion. We are also seeing the increase of coffee being introduced to non-specialist outlets such as supermarkets and pubs. This made up 39% of the coffee market in 2015.


It is evident that there is room for more and more coffee shops in the UK. Why not grab a coffee with us and we can tell you more how we can help your café stand out?


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Unit 8
Alpha Centre
South Douglas Street
Glasgow G81 1PD
Tel: 0141 951 4442