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Barista Bar expands UK self-serve presence with SPAR roll-out in Scotland

The £2.5m ($3m) agreement will see the Northern Irish self-serve coffee business expand its network to 730 units

Keavy O’Mahony-Truesdale, Brand Manager at Barista Bar (left), and Mark Stewart-Maunder, Commercial and Development Director at Henderson Foodservice (right) | Photo credit: Barista Bar


Northern Irish self-serve coffee machine business Barista Bar has signed a £2.5m ($3m) distribution deal with CJ Lang & Son, which owns the SPAR convenience store chain in Scotland.

The agreement will see Barista Bar self-serve coffee machines installed within 104 SPAR stores across Scotland alongside an unspecified number of its independent retailers.  

Barista Bar was established by Henderson Foodservice in 2015. When completed, the roll-out will bring Barista Bar’s total UK footprint to 730 units.  

The first unit under the agreement was installed at David Sands Pinkie Farm store in East Lothian in August 2023. The independent retailer has reported 100% growth in coffee sales in the last two months, compared to its previous coffee offering. 

“Two years ago, our foodservice company invested over £6m ($7.3m) into Barista Bar to upgrade the brand and machinery to produce a stand-out product that has had a hugely positive impact on our retailers’ sales and footfall. We look forward to CJ Lang & Son’s stores and independent retailers experiencing this boost as we continue to show the benefits of a high-quality food and coffee to go offering within convenience retailing,” said Mark Stewart-Maunder, Commercial and Development Director, Henderson Foodservice. 

CJ Lang & Son currently operates more than 300 SPAR convenience stores across Scotland. CEO Colin McClean said he anticipates rolling-out Barista Bar to the majority of company owned SPAR Scotland stores by the end of 2024. 

World Coffee Portal research shows that the Barista Bar is the four largest premium vending operator in the UK, behind Costa Express, Absolute Coffee and We Proudly Serve Starbucks. 

Costa Express’ 13,200 units make up nearly two thirds of the total consumer facing premium vending and self-serve coffee market, which comprises 20,771 units. 

In addition to its expansion into Scotland, Barista Bar is also diversifying its coffee offering with an anticipated roll-out of the Barista Bar Planted concept – which offers oatmilk as a dairy alternative. The first Planted machine was installed at SPAR Queen’s University in Belfast in October 2022, with the concept since being added to SPAR’s Mallusk and Titanic outlets.  

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