Figures released by global information company The NPD Group for the out-of-home (OOH) British foodservice market show that Britain’s love affair for coffee is strengthening at the expense of tea.
Britons drank some 2.098 billion cups of coffee away from home in the year ending (YE) December 2015, +4.3% or 87m more than YE December 2014. We drank 874m cups of tea in the same period, down by -1.8%. Our tea consumption is nearly 19% down on 2010 and for every cup of tea we now consume around two-and-a-half cups of coffee. Tea now accounts for just over one-quarter (27%) of all OOH hot beverage servings in Britain, down from close to one-third (31.5%) in 2010. That means tea’s market share vs coffee has shrunk by over 14% in that time.
Stopping for petrol? Why not grab a coffee?
Britain’s coffee consumption ranks 3rd among the ‘Big 5’ European markets, with Italy topping the table with consumption of 4.78bn cups of coffee annually and France at 2.27bn. Germany gets through 1.93bn cups while Spain drinks 1.77bn. But British coffee consumption stands out because it is the only market where coffee consumption away from home has grown in the five years since YE December 2011. Coffee is front of mind among Brits even when we stop to fill up our cars. Britons managed to down nearly 17m cups of coffee at petrol stations in 2015, some 5m more than 2012.
Our favourite speciality coffees? Cappuccino, Latte and Americano
We are becoming increasingly fond of speciality coffees – Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Espresso, Mocha and Macchiato. These account for the lion’s share of British coffee consumption. Out of the 2.097bn coffee servings in Britain during YE December 2015, 1.618bn servings (77%) were speciality coffees with traditional brewed or filter coffees accounting for the balance.
Britain’s biggest-selling speciality coffee is still the Cappuccino with 486 million servings consumed in 2015, up by 12% since 2012. Latte servings were 467m in 2015, up 6% on 2012, while Americano servings were lower at 431 million but seeing much faster growth at 33% above 2012. Two other speciality coffees seeing fast growth are Espresso, up some 31% over the same period with 99 million servings in 2015 while the increase for Mocha is 29% up since 2012 with 55 m servings last year. Servings of traditional coffee are down by 20% since 2012.
While there is a market for speciality teas, which include flavoured teas such as Earl Grey, this amounted to only 87 million servings for the year ending December 2015. This is around 5% the size of the speciality coffee market for the same period.
Muriel Illig, account manager at the NPD Group, said: “There’s no quenching our thirst for the three most popular speciality coffees – Cappuccino, Latte and Americano – and those three account for around two-thirds of all the coffee we buy away from home. In Britain, we love coffee when we are on the go. But as coffee climbs then tea is teetering – it really needs to fight back. The share of tea in a country famed for its love of this beverage has slipped significantly and the thirst for speciality coffees completely swamps demand for speciality teas.”