“It’s like orange squash and orange juice, they’re both called orange but that’s pretty much where the similarities end,” says Paul Meikle-Janney, managing director of coffee consultancy, Coffee Community. “(Pre-brewed) coffee and fresh coffee are different products. Each has its own place in the market but that place is narrowing when it comes to (pre-brewed) and that is as it should be.”
But pre-brewed still accounts for 77% of the coffee Brits buy to drink at home, according to market research specialists Mintel. In Italy it accounts for just 1%, in France 4% and 7% in the US. The UK market for coffee at home is growing and is now worth in excess of £1bn annually.
It’s the Americans who are largely credited with giving the UK the stuff. It came over in the ration packs of US troops during World War Two. For a nation of coffee drinkers it was a temporary solution to not having a freshly brewed “cup of Joe”. For a nation of tea drinkers it was something new and exciting and caught on.
Author Philip Hensher is a fan, calling it a “little piece of everyday private magic“. “Private” being the operative word for those who hide their jar at the back of the kitchen cupboard. So what’s the pre-brew appeal? Simple – it’s quick and easy, says Meikle-Janney. Granules, hot water, a dash of milk if that’s how you take it, job done. “Convenience is the product’s main.”
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From: BBCNewsMagazine Monitor. April 5, 2014 www.bbc.com