Rapid coffee shop market expansion could see sector grind to a halt

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TRISTAN MCCONNELL
A coffee barista shows how to pour milk in a coffee in what is commonly known as "latte art" or "coffee art" at Dormans cafe in Nairobi on April 25, 2016.
Self-described coffee enthusiast Andrea Moraa opened Pointzero cafe in the courtyard next to the Nairobi Gallery in late 2015 hoping to create a calming oasis among the city's hurly-burly. "For the longest time we were a tea-drinking nation that grew coffee, now it's becoming part of our culture to drink coffee as well as grow it," she said. / AFP / TONY KARUMBA        (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

The blistering level at which coffee outlets are growing could mean an end to the ‘coffee shop revolution’ if a new generation of baristas is not recruited.  

That’s according to a new report which has warned that whilst there are 150,000 baristas working in the UK, a further 40,000 will be needed in the next six years to support the expansion of coffee shops.

The research from Allegra Group noted how with coffee shops set to exceed 30,000 nationwide by 2025, a whole new generation of baristas will be needed to staff the additional 7,000 stores expected to open.

Research shows that an average of 24 coffee shops are opening every week across Britain, which, if true, could see the total overtake that of pubs by 2030.

The coffee shop market is expected to contribute nearly £9 billion towards the UK economy this year, an increase of 12% on last year.

Costa, Starbucks and Caffè Nero, the three largest chains, make up 19% of total coffee sales, with all three reporting upper single-digit growth last year.

Allegra’s research was published to coincide with the London Coffee Festival which is launching a range of initiatives to help inspire a new generation of baristas.

Jeffrey Young, CEO & founder of Allegra Group, commented: “Coffee is taking over the nation and with that comes a surge in demand for skilled baristas to keep the lattes flowing. Being a barista is a brilliant job that requires a great deal of knowledge and skill. We believe it should be as respected as the top sommeliers at the finest restaurants.

“Coffee Masters at this year’s London Coffee Festival will be a fast-paced and exciting demonstration of the skill involved to get to the top, and will no doubt inspire the next generation who we hope will one day return to the festival as competitors. Who knows, maybe a future Coffee Master will be a spectator this year!”

Image: Getty

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