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Mon 13th Mar 2017 - Costa launches Europe’s largest roastery; spending in pubs, restaurants and hotels increases 1.2% in February
Costa quadruples coffee capacity following launch of Europe’s largest roastery: Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee has opened its £38m coffee roastery in Basildon in Essex – quadrupling the company’s roasting capacity from 11,000 tonnes to 45,000 tonnes per year and marking a significant milestone in its growth plans. The facility, entitled Paradise Street, is the biggest coffee roastery in Europe, covering 85,690 square feet, and will allow Costa to produce more than two billion cups of coffee a year. All of Costa’s raw coffee beans are shipped into Tilbury Docks, only 14 miles from the site. Costa Coffee managing director Dominic Paul said: “Costa is growing rapidly as a global business and our new roastery will provide the platform for sustained international expansion. Turning on our new roasting capacity is a landmark for the business. Roasting in Basildon keeps the UK at the centre of our growing global brand and enables us to build on everything we have learned from more than four decades of roasting in Lambeth. It is about quality, capacity, investing in the future and being true to our heritage – it’s about embracing our traditions while continuing to innovate and drive global growth.” The roastery also includes a coffee academy, which will train 3,000 baristas a year, while it will feature on-site renewable energy generation, including solar power and a rainwater harvesting system. The facility has been shortlisted for the 2017 BREEAM Awards for sustainability. Production director Giorgio Fioravanti added: “We are now able to produce 45,000 tonnes of coffee every year, with the potential to expand to 60,000 tonnes. This new facility will enable Costa to grow for decades to come, as we look to go from the UK’s favourite coffee brand to the world’s favourite.”

Spending in restaurants, bars and hotels increases 1.2% in February as consumer spend picks up again: Spending in restaurants, bars and hotels increased 1.2% in February compared with last year as consumer spend once again picked up, according to the latest data from Visa. Consumer spend increased 1.5% year-on-year in January, up from 0.4% in January, Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index has revealed. The increased spend in restaurants bars and hotels was softer than in previous months, suggesting consumers are becoming more cautious with their discretionary spend. Meanwhile, food and drink saw a 1.0% decline. Face-to-face spending declined 3.0% while e-commerce was up 3.2% year-on-year, down from 4.1% the previous month. Notably, it was the third month in a row the rate of expenditure growth had eased in this category. Besides food and drink, three other categories – clothing and footwear, household goods, and transport and communication – saw drops in expenditure. As well as the pub, restaurant and hotel category, recreation and culture (3.3%), miscellaneous goods and services (2.0%), and health and education (0.9%) saw increases in spend compared with the previous year. Visa UK and Ireland managing director Kevin Jenkins said: “Following a marked slowdown in January, consumer spending restored some momentum in February. Overall spend grew at an annual rate of 1.5% from a low point of 0.4% in the previous month. Growth in the experience sector continues to be a significant driver. Valentine’s Day and the half-term break gave consumers more reasons to dine out and treat their loved ones to short getaways around the UK. At the same time, the level of growth in the leisure and hospitality sectors was softer than we have seen in the past year, showing signs that consumers are becoming more cautious with their discretionary spending. And for clothing retailers, February was yet another challenging month, recording the biggest drop across all the sectors that we track. Notably, online retailers continued to enjoy strong growth, while the high street trailed behind, declining for the third month in the last four.”

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