| Germany

Coffee Fellows scraps plant-based surcharge across its German stores

The Munich-based coffee chain has reduced the cost of a regular cappuccino with oatmilk by €0.50 ($0.53) as it seeks to promote its plant-based menu

A quarter of cappuccinos sold across Coffee Fellow's stores are ordered with oatmilk | Photo credit: Coffee Fellows


Coffee Fellows has scrapped its surcharge for dairy alternatives across its 216 German stores. 

While the surcharge varied depending on each beverage, the cost of a regular cappuccino with oatmilk has been reduced by €0.50 ($0.53). 

Coffee Fellows said a quarter of cappuccinos sold across its stores are ordered with oatmilk, and 10% of all coffee and hot beverages are prepared with plant-based alternatives. 

The coffee chain primarily offers oatmilk, which it said has an ‘optimised ecological footprint’ due to being produced in Germany, but also uses soymilk. 

“On average, Coffee Fellows currently uses 1.5 million litres of cow's milk per year in coffee drinks. Any reduction of consumption of cow's milk makes an enormous contribution to improving the climate,” said Stefan Tewes, Managing Director, Coffee Fellows. 

The Munich-based coffee chain is seeking to make it easier for customers to choose more environmentally friendly plant-based products. 

Vegan products currently comprise 24% of the coffee chain’s food menu. In 2018 Coffee Fellows was recognised by Berlin-based non-profit ProVeg International as the most ‘veggie-friendly’ coffee house chain in Germany.  

World Coffee Portal research found German coffee shop leaders consider oatmilk the best dairy alternative to pair with coffee, ahead of almond milk and soya milk. 

Consumers appear to agree with 13% of those surveyed indicating they typically favour pairing oat with their beverage, making it more popular than almond milk (11%).    

Coffee Fellows added that plant-based surcharges remain customary across most coffee shops in Germany, but change is slowly taking place. 

In September 2022 Tchibo announced it was making Oatly Barista Edition available in its 900 cafés across Europe, with a surcharge of €0.50 ($0.53). 

However, market leader McCafé offers oatmilk without a surcharge at its 665 outlets. In March 2023, Starbucks responded to increasing consumer demand by dropping its plant-based surcharge across its 155 German stores.  

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