Consumer coffee shop habits

In the wake of the pandemic and with the cost-of-living crisis encouraging belt-tightening, we explore how consumers are engaging with coffee shops today
18 October 2023
Coffee shop habits
James Powell

Senior Marketing Manager, Media Division, UK & Ireland

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With autumn now upon us the nation’s coffee shop chains have long since switched from pushing their summer fruit coolers to promoting the likes of pumpkin spiced lattes and maple hazel frappes. With almost every high street today adorned with one – and often many more – coffee shops, we explore how consumers are engaging with them today in the wake of the pandemic and through the current cost of living crisis.

Latest GB TGI data reveals that 61% of adults today claim to have visited a coffee shop or sandwich bar in the last 12 months. Whilst this has recovered strongly from its inevitable dip during the pandemic, it’s still not quite back to the 66% of adults who claimed to do this in 2019.

Indeed, beneath the overall visitation figures, habits are changing. The proportion of adults who claim to visit a coffee shop or sandwich bar at least once a week just to get a drink inevitably fell dramatically during the pandemic, but it has failed to recover since. Meanwhile, the proportion of consumers who get something to both eat and drink has bounced back strongly since the pandemic.

Coffee shop habits

What about how adults are engaging with coffee in general, beyond the shops? TGI reveals that 34% of adults claim to drink either instant or fresh coffee more than once a day (28% say instant and 10% fresh). Many of those drinking fresh coffee have invested in a coffee machine at home and TGI shows that this is a figure that has remained steady over recent years, standing at 35% of adults today.

However, it is not the case that owning a coffee machine makes consumers less likely to visit a coffee shop. Indeed, 42% of those who visit coffee shops or sandwich bars claim to have a coffee maker at home, which is higher than the figure for adults generally (35%).

16% of adults claim to visit coffee shops or sandwich bars once a week or more, and this particularly engaged audience is likely to prove especially valuable for marketers in this sector. TGI reveals that this group is particularly likely to have a high family income and to be in the 'Flown the Nest’ TGI lifestage group (aged 15-34, not married/living as couple, do not live with relations).

Coffee shop visits

These frequent sandwich shop and coffee bar users are also particularly likely to engage with advertising. For example, TGI reveals that they are 57% more likely than the average adult to agree that on TV they enjoy the adverts as much as the programmes. 

Beyond this, they are particularly likely to be amongst the heaviest users of a range of media, in particular cinema, outdoor media and magazines.

Coffee shop engagement

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