The UK-based coffee chain is testing the appetite for dairy alternatives among self-serve consumers but has not disclosed whether its oatmilk-only machine will be expanded nationwide
Costa Coffee leads the UK premium self-serve coffee machine market, operating over 12,000 units | Photo credit: Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee has begun trialing a self-serve machine in the UK that uses only oatmilk in response to the growing popularity of dairy alternatives among UK consumers.
The UK-based chain has launched a Costa Express machine that serves only oatmilk at a Shell petrol station in Buckinghamshire, UK. Further details regarding a potential expansion of the machine have not been shared but Costa Coffee said it is ‘keen to ensure that on-the-go customers also have the chance to opt for a milk alternative’.
In December 2021 oat surpassed coconut as UK consumers’ preferred dairy alternative in coffee shops. A survey of more than 50,000 UK consumers by World Coffee Portal found that 16% had tried oatmilk in a coffee shop over the last 12 months, ahead of coconut and almond at 12% and soya at 9%.
Costa Express already offers oat, coconut, almond and soya dairy alternatives across its 2,800 UK brick-and-mortar stores.
As well as being the UK’s largest branded chain, Costa Coffee is also the largest brand in the UK premium self-serve segment, operating over 12,000 units and holding a 71% market share, as of the end of 2021.
In June 2022 the company commenced the roll-out of 1,100 new Costa Express self-serve machines, capable of serving both hot and iced beverages, across the UK.