A Tasteful way to Reward

Date: March 12, 2018
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It’s official – we are a nation addicted to caffeine. We consume an estimated 2.2 billion cups a year[1]in any one of the 20,728 coffee outlets[2] dotted around the UK.

Over the last decade the number of cafes and coffee shops has more than doubled, now providing one location for every 3,000 Britons in which we can down flat whites and guzzle lattes.

Officially obsessed

A study by Allegra Strategies also found that three of the largest coffee joint brands – Costa, Starbucks and Caffe Nero – account for over half of the market between them. The growth trend isn’t looking to slow down any time soon either, with reports suggesting that by 2025 we could see over 30,000 shops making the coffee sector one of the most successful in the UK economy.

If you’re surprised, I won’t blame you. In a struggling economy awash with news reports of decreasing spending power and decreasing household incomes, it would be natural to assume that many Brits are shying away from such as luxury purchase. After all, the general cappuccino bought over the counter comes in at 27.5 times its market price, with the average £2.20 medium cup only containing a meagre 8p worth of coffee.

But in times of struggles we all need our little treats, and what better than a treat that both cheers us up and perks us up, ready to tackle the day ahead?

Creatures of habit

Even outside of the coffee shop, we see caffeine as a necessity. 31% of coffee drinkers make their caffeine hit their priority, brewing a cuppa before carrying out any other morning activity[3], whilst 49% say that they would rather give up their smartphone for a month than go without coffee – that’s right, coffee is coming in ahead of modern connectivity within the world of work… and before Facebook and Instagram!

80% of UK households purchase instant coffee for in-home consumption – especially those aged 65 or older – whilst the younger generations are rather partial to ground coffee and single serve pod machines. Over a third of us have purchased a Tassimo, Dolce Gusto or Nespresso appliance, up from 22% just a year ago[4], with many stating the final product quality as the drive to own yet another kitchen appliance despite the relatively high ongoing cost.

Variety is the spice of life

The average cup of drip brewed Arabica coffee contains anywhere between 80-130mg caffeine[5] and a simple espresso comes in anywhere from 29mg to 100mg, whilst household brands of instant coffee range from 27-173mg coffee – such differing values risking drinkers accidentally over-caffeinating in their bid to stay awake and focus on the task at hand.

Of course, caffeine isn’t limited to coffee. The Brits other hot drink of choice, our beloved tea, is also a caffeine laced beverage – in fact, a green tea can contain more caffeine than a single espresso[6]. Even a Snapple Iced Tea can contain as much as 42mg per bottle.

Surprisingly, soft drinks are another culprit often over looked. A 230ml serving of Pepsi Max provides 69mg caffeine and Mountain Dew can give a shot of 37mg. Energy drinks do just what they say on the tin too – ‘5-hour energy’ has a shocking 207mg!

Appeal to the masses

It’s clear that we are not only caffeine addicts, we are a diverse bunch – we each have our favourite caffeinated product, our favourite café or coffee joint, our favourite home-based energy hits. Our daily coffee or preferred soft drink provides a feel-good factor, a regular lifeline, a moment for ourselves out from our busy schedules. It keeps us grounded in an otherwise stressful economy, provides a socialising point, and a break within our working days.

Why not give your customers ‘a coffee on us’ with Universal Card – a truly appealing gift!



[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/wake-up-and-smell-the-bs-our-pretentious-obsession-with-coffee-i/amp/

[2] http://www.cityam.com/231280/coffee-shops-more-than-double-in-the-last-decade

[3] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/29/americas-coffee-obsession_n_987885.html

[4] https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/reports/digital-features/hot-beverages-report-2016/nearly-a-third-of-brits-own-a-coffee-pod-machine/542542.article

[5] https://www.thespruce.com/caffeine-in-coffee-tea-cola-765276

[6] https://lifehacker.com/5790350/the-coffee-vs-tea-infographic-lays-out-each-drinks-health-benefits-and-risks-side-by-side