Coffee-to-go is a big success story for Hull-based Sewell on the go. The Top 50 Indie has 16 machines across its 12 sites with the busier sites having two or even three machines.
Earlier this year, Top 50 Indie the Chartman Group was named as the first independent retailer to install three Costa Express machines at one of its sites. And on the day the third machine was installed at the company's Winning Post site just outside Exeter, the three machines served 350 cups in total.
The fact that Costa was recently named the Nation's Favourite Coffee Shop brand for its fifth consecutive year (Allegra Project Café 15) came as no surprise to Vicky Nielsen from Cambuslang Service Station in Cambusland near Glasgow, as she says the coffee it serves is lovely. "We've had a Costa machine in here for about a year now and we have regulars who come in just for the coffee. It's so good it sells itself," she says. "Lattes are the best seller and there are two sizes: regular for £2.10 and large for £2.40."
While the expansion of the coffee shop chains such as Costa and Starbucks is the main driver of coffee shop market growth, according to Allegra Strategies, it is consumers who will shape the future marketplace with their demands for premium coffee, any time, anywhere. And that is, of course, good news for forecourt operators.
With more people consuming hot beverages than a year ago, the £5.8bn market is showing no signs of slowing down. According to Allegra Strategies' Project Café, an estimated one in five people now visit a coffee outlet on a daily basis, with figures showing that the morning period remains the most popular time to grab a cup.
A survey by coffee firm Douwe Egberts has found that Britons spend an astonishing £15,600 in coffee shops over a lifetime because they don't know how to make lattes and cappuccinos at home. It found that 69% of the 2,000 people surveyed spent between £1 and £5 in coffee shops, five days a week.