Founded in 1971 Costa Coffee has played a central role in shaping the character of the UK café market. In doing so it has won the hearts and minds of the British public to be voted ‘The Nation’s Favourite’ coffee shop for ten years in a row by Allegra’s independent consumer panel*
Costa Coffee has consistently been at the vanguard of consumer trends, product development and in-store experience. Image © Costa Coffee
The UK coffee shop market has undergone a remarkable decade of development. Since 2010, coffee shop culture has become firmly ingrained in British lifestyles, with the total market swelling to over 25,000 outlets and more than doubling in value to £10.5bn today.
Through the rise of digital retail, increased coffee choice, and a growing focus on sustainability and wellbeing, one truth has remained constant. For ten years in a row, the great British public has voted Costa Coffee as its preferred UK café*.
A Great British success story
Founded as a wholesale coffee business by siblings Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971, Costa Coffee has played a crucial role in making authentic Italian café experiences part of UK lifestyles. The 1990s saw Costa Coffee champion a radical new concept on the UK high street – the branded coffee shop – and UK consumers have never looked back.
By the 2010s the British public was well on their way to becoming a nation of coffee connoisseurs. Amid rising expectations on quality, service and choice, Costa Coffee has consistently been at the vanguard of consumer trends, product development and in-store experience.
Costa Coffee was the first major UK branded chain to roll out the iconic Flat White across its stores nationwide in 2010. The launch of the revolutionary Coffee Club loyalty app in 2012 kept Costa firmly on the pulse of technological innovation. In 2017, the launch of its state-of-the-art £38m UK roastery renewed its commitment to delivering the very best coffee quality across its growing portfolio.
"Coffee shops have become a crucial part of the UK’s social fabric, and Costa Coffee’s contribution to the industry has been immense and profound."
- Jeffrey Young, CEO of Allegra Group.
Today Costa Coffee is looking ahead to another decade of coffee shop excellence. In 2020, the coffee chain continues to respond to a growing demand
for credible choices across its food menu, introducing partnerships with BOL and Deliciously Ella, and adding 25 vegan lines across its menu.
Commenting on the achievement, Costa Coffee Managing Director, UK&I, Neil Lake, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive the accolade of the nation’s favourite coffee shop for the tenth consecutive year. This is a fantastic achievement and means a lot, especially as it’s voted for by consumers.
“A huge thank you to our talented, passionate and dedicated baristas who serve millions of lovingly handcrafted cups of coffee a year to the nation.
“We’re also celebrating two other key milestones; ten years of our much-loved loyalty programme, Coffee Club, and ten years since we introduced the iconic Flat White to our menu – the first UK High Street coffee shop chain to do so nationwide!
“It’s been a phenomenal decade of growth and innovation for Costa. We’ve strived to create new and exciting ways for Costa Coffee fans to enjoy our coffee wherever they are; Costa Coffee Ready to Drink, Costa At Home, and of course, Costa Express - a barista-style machine crafting coffee to enjoy on the go.
“Alongside our new parent company, Coca-Cola, we’re looking forward to the next decade and continued success - serving more cups of great coffee, to more people, more often.”
Part of Costa Coffee's expanding vegan lines across its menu. Image © Costa Coffee
Allegra Group Founder and CEO, Jeffrey Young, said: “I’m delighted to see Costa Coffee going from strength to strength and being voted The Nations’ Favourite coffee shop for ten years running is a remarkable achievement.
Coffee shops have become a crucial part of the UK’s social fabric, and Costa Coffee’s contribution to the industry has been immense and profound. As we look forward to a new decade of UK coffee shop development, Costa Coffee’s commitment to quality and innovation has never been stronger.”
* The question ‘what is your favourite coffee shop?’ was asked of an independent panel of 4,086 consumers, with 47% citing Costa Coffee as their preferred café. Source: Project Café UK 2020 © World Coffee Portal.