The London Coffee Festival is an established, unmissable event for discerning coffee lovers and those working in the coffee scene. The annual festival features over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations from world-class baristas, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs, art exhibitions and more. It’s a great opportunity for those of us in the industry to discuss the latest market trends and speak to like minded coffee lovers. Here’s what we were all talking about this year.

Plant-based and dairy-free milk in demand

There is continued growth in consumer demand for plant-based and dairy-free milk. Consumers are focussed on health and wellbeing, seeking plant-based alternatives, with one eye on sustainability. According to consumer research by FMCG Gurus*, the growing popularity of dairy alternatives is down to two key reasons. Firstly, 69% of global consumers state that they eat or drink dairy alternatives because they are better for the environment. And secondly, 67% of global consumers say they eat or drink these products as they are healthier than regular milk products. Their research also shows that 66% of consumers who eat or drink dairy alternatives suggest they do so because they like the taste better. While consumers are concerned about their health and the environment, taste is still the most important factor when purchasing these products. Dairy free, plant-based brands at The London Coffee Festival included Alpro, H!P OAT M!LK, Mighty, Rebel Kitchen, Rude Health, Moma, Koko and Oatly.

Cold Brew keeps coming

Cold brew, or ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee, remains a popular and growing area of the coffee market. Kantar data shows the RTD coffee market continues to grow strongly with no signs of slowing: over 1m new shoppers bought into RTD coffee in the last two years, with trip spend +35% and frequency +40% in the same time period**. According to a feature in The Grocer online, ready-to-drink coffee is up 37% in value since last year and showing signs of huge growth potential***. There were lots of brands talking about RTD Coffee at The London Coffee Festival - us included with our very own Lincoln & York Black Eye Cold Brew. For some innovative ways to enjoy a Black Eye Cold Brew this summer, download our serving suggestions.

Doing the right thing

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility remain a strong industry focus, and quite rightly so. Many global coffee roasters are working towards net zero, with businesses also investing in projects that support farmers and give back to growing communities. In addition, an increasing number of producers are exploring recyclable packaging formats and reusable coffee cups to reduce waste. At Lincoln & York we’ve set ourselves some ambitious targets. Our plans include ways in which we will operate more sustainably and with environmental responsibility but also includes other areas where we feel we can make greater contributions. Find out more about the British Coffee Association’s sustainability mission and how high street brands have responded.


YouGov interrogates UK coffee consumption

In April, YouGov released part five of the YouGov Food Study; examining the drinking habits and preferences of Britons from data collected last November. It includes how frequently we drink coffee, how we take it and where we drink it. A summary of some of the results can be found here. The full study results are here.

Here are some highlights:

  • Seven in ten Britons (70%) drink coffee at least once a week.
  • One in eight Britons (12%) have more than 20 cups a week.
  • Seven out of ten Britons (70%) who drink coffee take it without sugar.
  • Younger Britons are far more likely than older ones to say they never drink coffee.


If you would like your coffee offering to become more sustainable, innovative and commercially competitive, please contact our experienced team.



* FMCG Gurus Dairy Trends in 2021 Global Report

**Kantar Data w.e. 23rd January 2022. 

*** Nielsen, Total GB incl. discounters, val MAT w/e 01.01.22