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Green Caffe Nero coffee shop

The UK coffee shop market was the fastest growing in Europe this year, a worldwide report has found.

Another 643 coffee shops opened in the UK this year to reach a total of 7,421 outlets, Allegra’s Project Café 2018 Europe study reported.

The openings propelled the UK to the top position in terms of coffee shop growth in Europe, followed by Turkey and Russia.

Costa Coffee remains the UK’s largest coffee chain, expanding by 243 stores to a total of 2,755 outlets. Starbucks added 251 more sites, taking its estate to 2,406 stores.

Starbucks has now overtaken McCafé to become the second largest operator in Europe and will be the first to have a presence in all 25 European markets.

Allegra noted that branded chains were fuelling footfall with new in-store designs, artisan and single-origin coffees, and freshly prepared food.

“We are entering an exciting new era of leadership in the industry, one based on a culture of excellence,” said Allegra Group MD Jeffrey Young.

“Addressing these rapidly changing market dynamics is a business imperative and leading chains will need to adapt or risk getting left behind.”