That’s according to Allegra World Coffee Portal, which reports that sales at the UK’s 20,700 coffee shops grew 10 per cent in the last year to £7.9bn.
In the past year customers drank an estimated 2.2bn cups of coffee out-of-home, with Costa topping the sales chart with an estimated 169m cups sold.
Costa (1,992 outlets), Starbucks (849) and Caffè Nero (620) remain the UK’s leading stores with a 53 per cent share of the branded chain market.
Meanwhile the rise in pubs, fast food outlets and retail stores offering coffee has seen the 'non-specialist sector' grow its share of the market to 39 per cent, compared to branded chains (31 per cent) and independents (30 per cent).
So what’s next?
Costa, Starbucks and Café Nero look set to continue their domination of the UK high street. Allegra predicts that the branded coffee shop segment will expand to over 8,500 outlets with turnover of £5.7bn by 2020.
The rise of the coffee savvy consumer is set to see a boom in 'artisan' outlets- such as the recently announced Costa Fresco concept - driven by the demand for higher quality coffee across the high street.
Jeffrey Young, MD of the Allegra Group said: “The strong market growth of the past 12 months has exceeded our own estimates.
“This provides further evidence of the growing importance of coffee shops to the British economy and more importantly their impact on the daily lives of everyday consumers. With a market now valued at £7.9bn, no-one can ignore the fact that coffee is big business.”