Market insight: Coffee drinks ‘go big on plants’

Market insight: Coffee drinks ‘go big on plants’

Almost half of coffee drinkers now regularly drink plant-based options out of home, with the figure set to continue rising, according to new research commissioned by plant-based pioneer Alpro For Professionals. The brand has found that 48% of coffee drinkers are now regularly choosing plant-based options on the go – with taste, health and environment being among the biggest motivations for doing so.

Meanwhile, only one in five of all coffee drinkers report that they have yet to try a plant-based alternative out of home. In fact, plant-based options are becoming so popular that 28% coffee drinkers revealed that they now choose a plant-based coffee shop option at least once a week, while one in 14 said they opt for plant-based coffees on the go every day.

Across the UK, it is estimated that some 21m plant-based coffee drinks are now being served each week, with 44% of all the coffee drinkers surveyed saying that they will ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ be planning to drink more during the coming year. Men aged 34 and under are the most likely group to start adding plant-based into their out of home repertoire, and again, taste, health and environment are among the biggest motivations for them deciding to give it a try.

“Our new research shows there is a massive opportunity for coffee outlets of all shapes and sizes to make sure they are making the most of plant-based during the year to come,” said Abbie Hickman, head of coffee marketing for Alpro UK & Ireland. “No longer a niche offering, plant-based has now firmly hit the mainstream as a choice for an ever-increasing number of coffee drinkers, irrespective of their dietary persuasion.”

Drilling down further into coffee lovers’ appetite for plant-based, 45.5% of coffee drinkers(say it’s now important to them that their favourite cafés offers these type of alternatives. And 25% say they are more likely to be a regular visitor to the same outlet if it offers a good range of plant-based drinks. A similar number of all coffee drinkers (27.7%) say they now want to see more plant-based drinks options on menus, with soya, almond, coconut and oat options making up their favourite serves.

“To make the most of this opportunity, baristas and coffee shop owners should add a broad choice of plant-based options to their menu,” added Hickman.

Proud to be the pioneer of plant-based eating and drinking, Alpro has been creating alternatives to milk, yogurt, cream, custard, desserts and ice cream for nearly 40 years. They are made from either non-genetically modified soya beans, coconuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, rice or oats.