Europe’s coffee chains bounce back from COVID-19

Project Café Europe 2022

The European coffee chain market grew 3.2 per cent over the past 12 months to reach 40,675 outlets, according to Project Café Europe 2022.

The report noted that this indicates improved trading for many operators following the pandemic, with 29 out of the largest 40 European markets by outlets expanding over the past 12 months.

However, rising costs, soaring energy prices, and economic disruption from the war in Ukraine are piling fresh pressure on European operators.

“Just as Europe’s branded coffee shops return to more normal trading following the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine poses a serious risk of further disruption to the market,” says Allegra Group Founder and CEO, Jeffrey Young.

“While many European markets will no doubt see growth for the foreseeable future, a number of macro-economic factors, including inflation, lagging consumer spending power rising energy prices and supply chain disruption pose significant headwinds for the industry.”

Moreover, Europe’s successful Covid-19 vaccination programmes have enabled coffee chains in most markets to trade with fewer restrictions and regain some losses sustained during the pandemic.

UK-based Costa Coffee remains Europe’s largest coffee chain with 3,263 outlets across 19 markets having opened 87 net stores over the last year. US-based McCafé, Russia’s One Price Coffee and US-based Starbucks are the fastest growing coffee shop brands in Europe, opening 305, 240 and 108 net new stores over the last 12 months.

In addition, World Coffee Portal says European coffee shops are slowly turning their attention back to sustainability after the pandemic led to a pause in many initiatives, particularly regarding single-use cup and utensil use for hygiene reasons.

Industry leaders surveyed by World Coffee Portal highlighted a 100 per cent recyclable materials policy as the most the most desirable sustainability policy in their market, followed by increased use of biodegradable packaging and greater transparency on supply chain sourcing.

World Coffee Portal predicts the total European branded coffee shop market will exceed 40,890 outlets within the next 12 months, rising to 44,600 outlets by March 2027.

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