In a week when the BBC explored the etiquette of coffee shop lounging and exactly what is an appropriate balance between taking advantage of free services or simply just taking advantage – Mintel finds Brits are bypassing the issue of “coffee shop squatting”, enjoying cafe style coffee in the comfort of their own home.

Coffee outside the home remains hugely popular in the UK. Today, Brits spend £1.4 billion in coffee shops annually and three quarters of consumers have used coffee shops in the last three months. One of the key reasons for using a coffee shop is to ‘get a drink I can’t or don’t usually have at home’ (a view shared by four in ten (38%) Brits who have bought hot drinks outside the home), so by promising coffee shop-quality beverages at home, coffee machines are developing strong appeal.

As people grow used to being able to buy high quality coffee in coffee shops, this is creating a desire to be able to create the same results at home. This trend will continue to inspire people to buy good quality coffee makers, especially espresso machines and coffee pod machines. Sales of hot beverage machines have increased by two thirds in the last five years – with coffee pod machines at the heart of this growth. Despite this growth, ownership is still fairly low (16% own a coffee machine such as an espresso or bean to cup machine, 14% own a pod or capsule coffee maker and 22% have a filter coffee maker), so there is definite scope for growth coffee pod machines.

Mintel’s latest Small Kitchen Appliance report shows that 30% of adults would look for coffee shop quality when choosing a coffee machine. Although people are being educated by ‘real’ coffee in coffee shops, at-home drinking is still dominated by instant coffee, which accounts for 70% of value and volume. Around half (XX%) of consumers drink instant coffee more than once a day. So there is an opportunity to convert more people into regular drinkers of real coffee at home by making the coffee machine easy and convenient to use.

There are also some signs that some adults find coffee shops expensive and so the appeal of making a great coffee for less money at home where “coffee shop etiquette” is of no issue will also drive demand in coffee pod machines further.

Jane Westgarth is a Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel. Jane’s passion for homewares began when she was invited to advise a leading furnishing retail chain on strategy and growth. Today she is a dedicated homewares researcher who creates insights and analysis for Mintel.

For more information about Mintel’s insight into the small kitchen appliance market, click here.