Costa sales dip as UK consumers ride the Third Wave

The CEO of Costa Coffee’s parent company, Whitbread, has attributed a slowdown in the company’s growth to the rise of Third Wave sensibilities among British consumers. Alison Brittain says that the UK coffee market is experiencing a similar transformation that has been seen in the wine market, with consumers developing a deeper appreciation for different flavours and varieties – and being prepared to pay more for them. Costa’s like-for-like sales rose by just 0.1 percent in the quarter ending in August, with growth of just 1.1 per cent in the previous three month period. However Costa has managed to continue to grow overall through the opening of 108 new outlets, bringing its total number of stores in the UK to 2326. The slowdown comes as the coffee industry in Britain faces higher costs due to unfavourable exchange rates after the slump in the pound following the decision to leave the European Union.

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