The UK RTD coffee market reported off-trade value growth of 17% in 2012, a rate that was marginally faster than the off-trade volume growth seen in the same year.
The development of RTD coffee has generated consumer interest through innovation in terms of both packaging and the product within, while capitalising on the convenience trend and the demand for a boost, given hectic lifestyles.
A small group of consumers in the UK is responding well to the offer of something more "adult" than an energy drink, resulting in the rapid development of a niche within soft drinks.
RTD coffee offers consumers a chilled, and often flavoured, coffee. On the one hand, RTD coffee appeals to young professional women as an indulgent treat, while on the other, it is also suitable for on-the-go consumption, being displayed in chilled cabinets, for those who need an energy boost.
The convenience trend and attractive packaging were two factors that have encouraged consumers to purchase RTD coffee, which also leverages the general popularity of coffee among UK consumers.
One of the reasons for the growth of RTD coffee is its presence in different formats such as traditional coffee take away packs, metal cans, resealable glass bottles and PET bottles.
Starbucks Coffee Co UK Ltd benefited from the launch of a 200ml metal beverage can range for its espresso coffee shots during 2012. Availability in different formats has attracted consumers from a wide age range to the category.
Starbucks Coffee Co UK Ltd and Emmi AG continued to be the leading players in the UK RTD coffee market, recording a combined off-trade value share of 97% in 2012. However, Emmi leads in off-trade volume terms, with a 51% share in 2012, whilst Starbucks leads in off-trade value terms with a 52% share. Emmi leads in volume terms because it benefits from a wider distribution network that covers the UK.
Interest in RTD coffee in the UK will continue to grow as it is considered to be both fashionable and functional, due to its caffeine content. The category is expanding as consumers are constantly looking for product variety and demand different flavours, which they consume on the go.
For more information on the UK RTD coffee market, see the latest research: UK RTD Coffee Market
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