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Last Updated: 19. September 2019

The Economic Impact of the Coffee Industry

The UK Coffee Market Is Expanding 

Traditionally, the UK is considered a tea-drinking nation. But if you look at the number of coffee consumed, it’s clear that the coffee culture has taken over the UK. In fact, in today's society, the UK coffee market has become indispensable, both for the British population and the UK economy. Given that coffee contributes £17.7 billion to the economy, the impact of the UK coffee market is growing steadily.

Not many would start their day without their daily boost of energy, whether it’s from a coffee shop or a coffee vending machine. In 2008, the UK’s population consumed up to 70 million cups a day. A decade later, however, the UK boosted the consumption to 95 million cups daily, of which 65% is consumed at home, 25% at work or while studying, and 10% is drunk in shops, bars, and restaurants.

The UK coffee market experienced an increasing importance in drinking coffee at work, and as a result, coffee shop owners try to have their shops close to business offices. 

What is a better day to celebrate the UK's expanding coffee markets than International Coffee Day? October 1st is the day the world comes together to cherish their love for coffee and to acknowledge all the hard-working farmers making it possible for us to enjoy a lovely cup of heaven. 

In the infographic below, Market Inspector highlights the impact of the UK coffee market:

Infograpic UK Coffee Market

If you would like to use this infographic, use the embed code below:

<a href="" target="_blank"> <img src="" alt="The Impact of the Coffee Industry in the UK" style="width: 100%; max-width: 770px;" border="0px" /></a>

The Coffee Traders Chain

The UK coffee market has a traditional traders chain. The green coffee bean travels through a long process before it reaches the customer.

It all starts in producing countries like Brazil or Colombia. Coffee is only successfully grown close to the equator, therefore, the chain continues with local traders and small holders. Coffee then travels to the sales agents who sell it to importers. These importers connect the suppliers in producing countries to the roasters. The roasters are the key players in the coffee traders chain.

The British coffee market can be segmented by the ways of consumption: in-home consumption (e.g. supermarkets) and out-of-home consumption (e.g. coffee shops), where there has already been spent around £1 billion on hot drinks with coffee representing 68% of the sales.

Coffee shops in the UK are increasing at a fast pace, reaching more than 20,000 outlets in 2015. Costa, Starbucks, and Caffè Nero are the main leading coffee shop chains controlling more than half of the total market. 

The UK’s Coffee Consumption

The UK coffee market is the fifth largest coffee consumer market in Europe. As a matter of fact, the coffee consumption in Britain stood at a total of 216,000 tons in 2015. This represents 9% of Europe’s total green coffee consumption from that year.

There is, however, a difference within different age groups. Those who are 20 or younger only drink half a cup of coffee a day on average, while those aged between 20 and 37 (so-called millennials) drink 1.3 cups; Generation X (aged 38-52) consume 2.1 cups of coffee. It might come as a surprise that people aged above 53 consume the most cups of coffee, which stands on an average of 2.2 cups a day. 

More coffee consumption doesn’t only mean higher turnover, but also more jobs. The UK’s coffee market has a significant and beneficial influence on the employment as well, creating more than 210,325 jobs. The number of people working in coffee-related jobs increased by nearly 10% between 2016 and 2017. Because of this growth, there is a strong demand in coffee capsules and coffee beans, resulting in more interest in actually renting a coffee machine.

The UK ranks in the top 5 of Europe’s consumer markets representing nearly ¾ of the total value of coffee consumption. Hence, coffee consumption is definitely soaring in 2019. The coffee industry is also having a positive impact on the UK's economy, given that the imports from green beans to the UK are rising.