New research from Costa Coffee, the nation’s favourite coffee shop, shows that almost half (42%) of Brits now identify as ‘foodies’, heralding a boom for the hospitality industry. Costa gives more than 110 young people every week their first step on the career ladder, as our obsession with high-quality produce and handcrafted consumables has led to a shift in artisanal trades to the food and drink sector.
The research reveals that around two thirds (63%) of Brits believe that people in the UK are more concerned with handcrafted food and drink than a decade ago. At the same time, the labour force is turning towards foodie jobs as over half (56%) of 16-24 year olds believe learning a food and drink based trade would boost their career opportunities, compared to only 37% of the over 55s. Brits are also twice as likely to believe hospitality offers good career progression, compared to a job in politics (34% vs 17%).
As demand for high quality food increases, so does Brits’ appreciation of the skill that goes into crafting it. More than half (54%) believe it is difficult to make a great cup of coffee and many (52%) say they choose a particular coffee shop because of the skills of its baristas. The research reveals that 16 – 24 year olds are the choosiest coffee connoisseurs, with 60% claiming the baristas’ skill is key to deciding where they pick up their daily java.
The research comes as Costa Coffee crowns its 2016 Barista of the Year – the coffee chain’s global competition to find the most skilled Costa barista. Costa currently employs over 7,000 16 – 24 year olds in the UK.
Kate Seljeflot, group HR director at Costa Coffee, said: “It is clear that the hospitality industry is not only booming, but it’s got the attention of a nation of foodies. Brits are coffee lovers and Costa baristas are consistently working to deliver the best coffee experiences for customers. Costa baristas undergo world-class training and pour passion, pride and skill into every cup. We’re always on the look-out for enthusiastic people who are passionate about coffee, keen to learn a useful trade and enter a flourishing industry.”
Costa’s Barista of the Year competition, which is now in its 11th year, took place in London on 12 January 2017 and celebrates outstanding talent amongst baristas. Previous winners have gone on to pursue broad ambitions within the business, including 2012’s UK based winner, Victoria Stewart, who is now an insights executive.