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New poll charts UK coffee shop consumer attitudes

A survey of 2,235 UK coffee drinkers conducted by World Coffee Portal in September 2020 reveals coffee quality, price, and supporting local businesses are among the top concerns of UK consumers when making a coffee shop purchase – with ethical and sustainable considerations also high on the agenda

Coffee quality, price and supporting local businesses are high on the agenda for UK coffee shop consumers | Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Ninety-six percent of UK consumers surveyed by World Coffee Portal in September 2021 indicated coffee quality was important when making a coffee shop purchase. Meanwhile, 70% and 69% indicated price and supporting local businesses respectively were important factors behind coffee shop purchase.
The findings were part of a survey of UK coffee drinker attitudes conducted in partnership with UK Coffee Week. Highlighting the unstoppable ascent of coffee and café culture in the UK, more than one fifth (21%) of consumers surveyed indicated they drink four or more cups of coffee per day. Meanwhile, 23% indicated they visit coffee shops 2-3 times per week. However, just 6% make a daily coffee shop purchase.
Latte, cappuccino, and Americano polled as the top three preferred beverages consumed in coffee shops – ahead of flat whites, filter coffee and blended iced coffee.
Sustainability is also high on the agenda for UK coffee shop consumers. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed indicated the sustainability of coffee supply chains was an important factor when making a coffee shop purchase.
Ethical coffee is also a crucial consideration, with 71% surveyed indicating fair wages for coffee farmers was important factor behind their coffee shop purchase – the same proportion indicated that working conditions for coffee farmers was important.
Nevertheless, despite consumers overwhelmingly considering coffee farmer welfare, just 19% knew the origin of their last coffee purchase, indicating an opportunity for coffee shops to increase awareness surrounding their coffee sourcing programmes.
When asked what the coffee industry should do to support coffee growing communities, choosing certified coffee suppliers, purchasing coffee direct from source and choosing suppliers that donate a percentage of proceeds to charity were the top three actions cited by UK consumers surveyed.

When asked what they would personally be willing to do to support coffee farmers, UK consumers cited purchasing certified coffee, visiting supportive coffee shops more often and paying more for coffee as the top three actions.
Twenty-one percent would be willing to pay 20p more for their cup of coffee to support coffee farmers, while 20% would support a 10p price increase.

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