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Ten Facts About British Coffee Drinkers

In celebration of International Coffee Day (1 October 2018), Mintel has compiled ten facts about Britain’s coffee habits.

  1. Today, four in five (79%) adults drink coffee at home.
  2. Drunk by 62% of adults, instant coffee is the nation’s number one coffee drunk at home, followed by ground coffee (24%) and coffee pods (15%).
  3. However, as many as one in five (20%) say they would be embarrassed to serve instant coffee to their guests. But it is the nation’s young (aged 16-34) who are Britain’s top coffee snobs, 31% of whom would be embarrassed to serve a cup of instant coffee.
  4. 32% of coffee drinkers say they are interested in making cold brew coffee at home, rising to 53% of 16-34-year-olds.
  5. Almost half (46%) admit they find it difficult to get going in the morning without a cup of coffee.
  6. A third (32%) of British coffee drinkers add sugar to their coffee, while 68% add milk or cream to their cup and 5% add a flavoured syrup.
  7. The high streets may be lined with coffee shops, but 71% of coffee drinkers believe takeaway coffee cups are bad for the environment. Opting for a more environmentally-friendly approach to their brew, three in ten (30%) coffee drinkers take a thermos/flask to drink on the go.
  8. Keeping with sustainability, 83% of coffee drinkers would like coffee packaging to be fully recyclable, but just 41% of coffee launches in 2017 carried an environmentally-friendly packaging claim. A further 45% of coffee drinkers are interested in reusable coffee pods that they can fill with their own coffee.
  9. While caffeinated coffee is most popular, 20% of coffee drinkers have decaffeinated coffee in their diet. Overall, 18% of Brits worry about being too reliant on caffeine, while 46% say it’s difficult to know how much caffeine is safe to drink.
  10. A quarter (26%) of coffee drinkers say they drink coffee before a workout to boost their exercise performance and 46% believe drinking coffee has its health benefits.

Anita Winter, Mintel research analyst, said: “The British have become a country of coffee drinkers. While instant coffee is the nation’s most favoured variety, the popularity of artisan coffee shops has helped some coffee drinkers, especially younger ones, to regard themselves as coffee connoisseurs. Many consumers are even ashamed to give their guests the instant version, perhaps because they believe that some instant coffee is cheaper and therefore inferior.

“Cold brew has enjoyed an increasing profile in coffee shops, so much so that many Brits are considering making it at home. Brands can make the most of this by highlighting specific coffee variants that are particularly suitable for making cold brew and increase new usage opportunities.”

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