Industry leaders delve into ‘The 5th Wave of Coffee’ at UK Coffee Leader Summit

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – The 9th UK Coffee Leader Summit took place at The Langham Hotel in London on 24 February 2017.  Industry leaders gathered to explore the theme of ‘The 5th Wave – The Business of Coffee’ and what it means for the future of the coffee shop market.
Allegra Group MD, Jeffrey Young kicked off the summit with an introduction to ‘The 5th Wave – The Business of Coffee’, stating the global coffee industry is entering an exciting and enduring new era. 

‘The future of the industry will be shaped by high quality boutique business professionals, adopting a more advanced set of business practices to deliver “scaled artisan”, said Young. ‘Ultimately we will see the leading brands competing on excellence in an environment where winning is everything.’

Current Market Environment

During the opening presentation, Young commented on the current market environment, sharing some of the latest data and trends from the Project Café2017 UK report by Allegra World Coffee Portal.  The total UK coffee shop market is estimated at 22,845 outlets, delivering a growth of 6% in outlets and 12% in turnover to reach £8.9 billion in 2016. 
Currently estimated at 6,940 outlets and £3.7 billion in yearly revenue, the UK branded coffee shop segment is forecast to grow to over 9,400 outlets and reach £6.3 billion revenue by 2021.


Hyper-Professional, Business-Focused Brands

Delegates were given candid insights into The Business of Coffee from six influential leaders in the UK coffee shop market, including four London-based entrepreneurs who are currently riding The 5th Wave.

Maria Sebastian, SVP Brand, Marketing & Category at Starbucks EMEA discussed how Starbucks is elevating the customer experience - from the expansion of new store formats, most notably the ultra-premium Reserve concept, through to investment in technology innovation to improve customer convenience and loyalty rewards.
Founder and CEO of Grind, David Abrahamovitch shared the inspiring story of how Grind first got off the ground by taking cues from the artisan independents and emulating the business practices of the leading coffee shop brands.  Abrahamovitch discussed the challenges faced in changing the consumer mindset to accept a day to night coffee shop to cocktail bar concept, and how the winning thread was the introduction of their signature espresso martinis.
Phoa Kia Book, Founder of The New Black gave a fascinating overview of his plans to deliver high quality modern coffee to the business executives in the office towers of London City, using an innovative approach to ‘make coffee beautiful.’
One of the key features of The 5th Wave movement is the nurturing of hospitality professionals.  Tim Sturk, Head of Training & Development at BaxterStorey stated that with each wave, the baristas have become more and more important, and the future of the coffee shop market will be underpinned by skilled staff.  Sturk spoke of success coming from well-trained customer service team players matched with people-centric business professionals who lead by example.
Miles Kirby, Co-Founder of Caravan reflected on the importance of investing in hospitality professionals, and how at Caravan they provide their staff with the right training and opportunities for a long and varied career path.
The day closed with stirring presentation from former Investment Analyst Daniel Land, who founded the now 15 store chain Coco di Mama in 2011.  Land shared the chain’s sharp operational processes that enable it successfully deliver on both speed and quality. Land also highlighted the importance of spreading The 5th Wave mentality throughout the business and breeding an internal culture of respect and understanding.
Delegates left with valuable insights and a rich understanding of how The 5th Wave will shape the future of the global coffee shop market.
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