Brita Professional has teamed up with The University of Edinburgh to publish a new report into the dynamic coffee shop market.

The Killer Concepts report provides new insight into the different elements of a coffee experience, what consumers are looking for and what will appeal to them in the future. It explores the different needs and expectations of more than 800 regular coffee drinkers and reveals that there are three key types of coffee consumer – Shoppers, Take-a-breakers, and Socialisers.

Key findings include:

• ‘Shoppers’ are looking for a quiet, comfortable experience and are less inclined to build relationships with staff

• ‘Socialisers’ want to meet other people – friends, family – and they put the most value on friendly staff

• In the future, consumers want to be able to use coffee shops as a meeting place, to wind down and attend events

• For all groups atmosphere, ambience and interaction were stated as the top three factors that encourage repeat visits

• 20% of consumers admit to having a crush on a barista

• ‘Take-a-breakers’ visit throughout the day for a caffeine fix or a wind down – they are looking for a break in the daily routine and friendly interaction

• Over half (58%) of consumers use the space to people watch and 1 in 5 use the space to meditate or relax

• A comfortable environment is stated as an important factor by two thirds of consumers… but the three groups have differing perceptions of ‘comfort’. A ‘secluded nook’ is the most popular place to sit for ‘socialisers’ whereas ‘take-a-breakers’ prefer a window seat

Eric Laurier, ethnographer and interaction analyst, University of Edinburgh, comments: “For each group, it’s the little things that make the offering feel tailored to them personally. It makes a concept feel like the right place for them and somewhere to return to. Our survey puts these little things in the bigger picture, and relates the big picture back into the little things, which everyone can benefit from.”

Miles Dawson, sales director, Brita Professional, adds: “Consumer loyalty is wavering, with even the most established chains at risk of brand fatigue. More than ever, operators must differentiate their coffee and their customer experience if they’re to succeed.”

The report is available to download from