Capitalise on the speciality coffee market, where Brits now spend £54 million per week

October 1, 2017, 8:19 pm

With International Coffee Day taking place on 1st October, Beacon, Britain’s leading purchasing company, is encouraging operators to explore the speciality hot beverages market for increased revenue. This comes as recent research from Beacon found that Brits now spend £54m a week on speciality coffees, with 40% of people now ordering a speciality drink at least once a week.

Kelley Walker, Purchasing Manager at Beacon, takes a look at the speciality coffee market and what operators can do to tap into this trend.

“International Coffee Day is the perfect opportunity for operators to look into alternative products that they can introduce to their range and as we see speciality coffees go from strength to strength, I would highly recommend tapping into this market. Our research found that 35% of consumers choose coffee as their first drink of the day, compared to 15% who said water and just 8% who said juice, again highlighting the popularity of this drink. To continue to allow this market to flourish, operators can make simple changes that make a big difference.”

“Setting price

Although there is evidence that the popularity of speciality coffees is on the rise, it is also important that operators set their prices to maximise sales. Our research found that although 38% of consumers order a speciality tea or coffee on a weekly basis, 67% wouldn’t spend over £2.99. It is important to know your audience and cost for speciality coffees accordingly, allowing room for additional upsell opportunities.

“Understand your demographic

It is important to understand your customer base when you consider your coffee range, in order to maximise sales. Our research found that amongst speciality drinks, lattes are most popular with 18 – 24 year olds, whereas those in the 45+ demographic are more in favour of a cappuccino. Spend time finding out what your customers likes and dislikes are, then use this knowledge to plan out a range that will have maximum impact.


Training is vital for businesses looking to replicate the coffee shop style in their establishments to create a sense of quality. With so much choice now in the market, customers might need help understanding their order, or they may want to know more about the style or story of the drink. Employees should be able to confidently advise on what they’re offering and also know how to enhance the coffee experience through techniques such as latte art.

Kelley continued:

“It’s very clear that the speciality coffee market is booming, with the “third wave” coffee – a movement that champions the production of high-quality coffee – spilling out of high street chains and into foodservice and hospitality. 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.”


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