Coffee continues to be big business. While the Covid-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the revenues of coffee chains globally, it has also pushed brands to explore new opportunities.

According to Allegra Project Café’s latest figures on the European coffee sector covering 48 countries, there are over 39,000 branded coffee shop outlets in the region. Over the last year alone, McDonald’s has seen the largest expansion with its McCafe offer with 133 new outlets as it focuses on growth in China, followed by Starbucks with 95 new locations and the ambitious British chain Costa Coffee growing by 22 outlets.

The role of the coffee shop has also changed with Covid-19, Dunt noted, having previously been mainly a meeting place for friends, families and colleagues. But with offices closed or restricted, coffee shops became second workspaces for people looking to get out of their home offices. Meanwhile, Costa’s role when it comes to people’s leisure habits has also changed.