During the first year under Covid-19 conditions, the top 85 coffee shop brands in Europe still generated an increase of 2 percent more locations. Costa Coffee holds on to first place with 3,148 outlets despite almost 1 percent fewer units than in the previous year, closely followed by McCafé with an estimated 3,110 shop-in-shop units (+7.5 % yoy). A little further behind in third place is global market leader Starbucks (2,856 coffee bars, +1.5% yoy).
Coffee to-go and coffee to-deliver instead of 'Third Place' was the name of the game for the entire coffee bar market in Europe in 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the foodservice business was severely restricted for months (and still is in many countries) – after the first two months of 2020 had been extremely successful for many players. Since March 2020, coffee bar operators have had to adapt again and again to changing conditions. Closures, partially restricted operations and openings with special hygiene measures alternated.
In 2020, brands that were already well-positioned digitally and served multiple footholds were at an advantage. These are two themes that will continue to be pushed in the coming years and that promise growth potential. Cold coffee specialties have also become a sales generator. Today, it's hard to imagine life without milk alternatives. What hardly anyone can ignore anymore: reusable systems and reusable cups and food packaging are increasingly demanded by guests. From mid-2021, it will be prohibited throughout the EU to offer certain disposable products made of plastic.