In 2015 the European branded coffee shop market experienced growth of 9 per cent on the 12 months prior, according to the latest report from Allegra Strategies. The research consultancy company’s data collection leg conducted more than 450 interviews to present results from 24 European countries. Allegra’s World Coffee Portal estimates that of Europe’s 19,472 branded coffee outlets, 1615 were added in 2015. Starbucks, Costa Coffee and McCafé continued to dominate Europe with 32 per cent of the market share, however McCafés growth slowed down in 2015. Present in 16 of the countries surveyed, McCafé opened 64 stores in 2015. Starbucks, on the other hand, is present in 22 of the 24 countries, and opened 185 stores in 2015. Allegra found that Costa Coffee is officially the fastest growing chain in Europe, opening 209 outlets in the last twelve months. This rapid expansion means Costa is currently enjoying a 12 per cent share of the total European coffee market. The UK’s market is still the most developed, representing 33 per cent of Europe’s branded coffee shops. The data revealed that 713 stores were opened across the UK this year, to reach a total of 6409 outlets as of October 2015. Germany re-entered a growth period in 2015, adding 35 stores in the last 12 months. Russia reported a somewhat surprising success story, with a 12 per cent annual growth rate placing it as the third largest market, in terms of number of outlets. Allegra’s data confirmed that the third wave scene is still alive and growing in Europe, with branded coffee chains observed to be adapting in-store design, brew method and fresh food options to suit artisan tastes. Allegra predicts that milk texturing and water quality will improve, as will coffee equipment and technology. “The rise of mobile and digital technologies will lead to advanced payment systems that help to enhance the multichannel customer experience,” said Allegra.