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Food for thought at Allegra UK Coffee Leader Summit

We were delighted to be invited along as guests of La Cimbali to The Allegra UK Coffee Leader Summit last Friday.

The event at the Langham Hotel, provided some excellent actionable insight into current market trends within the coffee industry.  The ‘fifth wave’, the business of coffee and how scalable is excellence? were hotly discussed by the delegates and an interesting line up of speakers including Jason Cotta from Costa Coffee, David Abrahamovitch from GRIND and Reuben Arnold from Starbucks shared their experiences and projections for the future.

Allegra UK Coffee Leader Summit

The over-riding theme seemed to be that although the market is still growing at around 7% pa,  there is a need for operators to work smarter to build loyalty as consumers are spending less on food whilst eating out and becoming increasingly selective about where and when they spend their cash.   The power of the millennials in driving additional revenue should not be underestimated nor should the ongoing health and wellness trend and increasing popularity of iced beverages and speciality teas.  All quite engaging stuff that is hard to ignore and we came away armed with pages of facts and figures which will be incredibly useful for our work with the media.

The event included a ’sensory bar’ hosted by co-sponsors La Cimbali, coffee machine manufacturer and Lincoln & York, coffee roasters.  The team had created some specialty coffees specifically for the day and offered visitors a variety of ways to experience them – as an espresso, with foamed milk, or as a cold brew or pour over.  La Cimbali’s Barbarella  has quite a cult following in the industry and makes an appearance at various events through the year.   It definitely stole the show last week, particularly on the brew bar where it was in high demand through the day from the numerous real coffee enthusiasts present.