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RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK
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73% would cut back on out of home drinking following latte levy: Mintel

Whilst 40% of out of home hot drinks consumers wouldn’t mind paying extra for drinks served in 100% recyclable cups.

As the Government aims to eliminate avoidable waste with the announcement of its 25-Year Environmental Plan, Mintel research reveals that Britain’s coffee shop drinkers are happy to do their bit for the environment, but not at any cost.

Mintel research finds as many as 40% of out of home hot drinks consumers* say they wouldn’t mind paying extra for drinks served in 100% recyclable cups. This sentiment is particularly strong among 20-24-year-olds with half (51%) saying the same. Furthermore, 58% of consumers* think coffee shops should offer a discount to those using their own travel mugs.

Although the nation is keen to cut down on packaging waste, price is an issue for many, as three quarters (73%) of coffee shop drinkers** admit price increases would make them cut back on out of home drinking. However, consumers are open to seeing environmentally-friendly changes introduced in other areas of the coffee shop. Four in five (82%) Brits believe coffee shop outlets should provide recycling bins, while three quarters (75%) agree restaurants should use recyclable packaging for takeaway/home delivery; a view which is particularly strong among the over 45s (78%).

Trish Caddy, foodservice analyst at Mintel, said, “The BBC’s Blue Planet II series really catapulted plastic pollution back into the public debate, and some businesses are already taking the lead in helping ‘nudge’ consumers to play their part in reducing waste.

“Our research shows that while consumers have great environmental intentions, they are often very time pressured. Also, the hassle factor of carrying around reusable coffee cups could limit the popularity of schemes that reward people for doing so. A more effective solution would be to make things easier for consumers by making cups more easily recyclable by, for example, using 100% biodegradable packaging rather than recycling the plastic.”

In 2017, Brits were estimated to have spent £3.4b in coffee shops, growing just under 1% from the previous year. Over the next five years, sales are expected to increase a further 10% to reach £3.7b by 2022.

Overall, four in five (79%) Brits bought a hot drink out of home in 2017**, rising to 90% of younger Millennials aged 18-27. Meanwhile, coffee shops are drawing 87% of parents of children under the age of 16.

“Younger Millennials and parents make up the core consumers for coffee shops. Younger Millennials are drawn to new offerings, while parents care about ethical sourcing and premium quality experiences. However, our research shows that this group is spreading their budget across a larger number of establishments that now sell coffee, including non-specialists that have expanded into low-cost coffee alongside food offerings. This move threatens to take market share from coffee shops," said Caddy.

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