Sales of filtered coffee overtook regular instant for the first time in 2009.
Filter coffee sales reached £149m last year, compared with £140m for regular granules, according to data from Mintel.
Sales of filtered coffee have soared by 49% over the past five years, against a drop of more than a third (36%) for cheap instant. But sales of premium instant continued to flourish, Mintel said.
“While once British consumers were happy to settle with a bog-standard cup of instant, today the traditional cup of coffee has become increasingly sophisticated as roast, ground, instant premium and super-premium are being sought after more frequently by core users than in previous years,” said Ben Perkins, head of food and drink at Mintel.
"The issue with the younger end of the market is that these consumers don't drink instant coffee."
This week Starbucks started selling its Via brand of instant coffee nationwide after a London pilot.
Starbucks’ Via instant coffee goes nationwide (4 March 2010)
Coffee retail prices set to drop but tea drinkers must wait (6 February 2010)
Top Products 2009: Hot beverages (19 December 2009)