| UK

Allegra launches Project Café2018 report at London networking event

Leading figures from across the coffee shop industry gathered at Home House in central London on 19 January for the Allegra World Coffee Portal Project Café2018 UK launch
Allegra Director of Insights, Anya Marco, presented highlights from the new report, which identifies the £9.6bn coffee shop industry grew by 7.3% in turnover during 2017, making it one of the UK’s strongest performing sectors.

In the context of 18 years’ growth for the industry, Marco reflected that 2017 had not been without its challenges. The UK’s snap election, ongoing Brexit uncertainty, price rises, and stagnant wages were all factors that impacted consumer confidence and high street spend last year.

In her 2022 forecast segment, Marco said that it was “absolutely essential” operators understood the factors behind consumer spending and visit habits. In an unpredictable future, she added, mastering quality perception and identifying product trends were skills vital to ensuring continued industry growth.

The coffee shop industry should also heed the increasing quality of non-specialist operators alongside more sophisticated food-focussed offerings. Marco stressed that there was no room for complacency in a market where consumers increasingly seek value, high-quality professionalism and innovative engagement through technology. 

There was also much discussion on the ‘5th Wave’ during the event’s Q+A session. Attendees were keen to learn Allegra’s view on key issues, such as whether UK boutique operators will follow the acquisition trend of their US counterparts.

On this topic, Marco explained many ‘5th Wave’ operators in the UK wanted to remain self-invested. While many are not yet the right size, in future they could become “perfect targets for acquisition as they grow”, she said.

Allegra Group CEO, Jeffrey Young, added that he believed there was an “underlying trend, much like 20 years ago in the UK [with] very sophisticated entrepreneurs entering the market and gearing themselves up to the right scale to be attractive to acquisition.”

On the challenges ‘5th Wave’ brands face in growing their operations, Young highlighted the importance of delivering quality at scale. Citing the “incredible standards” of US chain Bluebottle, which was recently acquired by Nestle, Young said ‘5th Wave’ thinking was a “new mindset for a new era… a relentless desire to deliver excellence.”

Project Café2018 UK is the definitive new report from Allegra World Coffee Portal on the UK coffee shop market. The extensive research is compiled with:
  • 150+ online and telephone interviews with CEOs, managing directors, senior managers and store managers of major industry operators
  • 19,239 online surveys from the Allegra independent consumer panel, tracked across 12 months from October 2016 – September 2017
  • 18,373 online surveys with UK coffee shop visitors and 3,065 online surveys from the Allegra independent consumer panel from September – October 2017
For more information and pricing, please call +44(0)20 7691 8800 or contact
Ruth Thompson
Commercial Executive
+44 (0)20 7691 8848
+44 (0)20 7691 8810 
Bradley Journeaux
Research Manager
Allegra World Coffee Portal
+44 (0)20 7691 8800


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