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A look at the professional coffee machine market in Europe

From the June 2015 issue.

The European espresso machine market is the largest in the world, with about 185,000 units sold every year. A study by DataResearch on the distribution of espresso machines across the continent shows a remarkable shift with the advent of specialty.

The European espresso machine market is the largest in the world, with about 185,000 units sold every year.

It’s a challenge, however, to discuss Europe as a single market.

It is also a colourful and fragmented area, and when we talk about how these espresso machines reach the market, we need to describe models that are sometimes very different between countries.

The top five most populous nations – Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and United Kingdom – represent almost 70 per cent of the total European market.

An analysis of these countries uncovers both striking differences and interesting similarities.

Most professional espresso coffee machines are destined for the Horeca market, establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages.

Although the term abbreviates the words hotel/restaurant/café, within the perimeter of the Horeca market are other establishments including catering businesses, bars, canteens, bakeries, and service stations.

For the purposes of this analysis, if we take into consideration only hotels, restaurants and coffee shops, the five countries mentioned have a potential market of about 880,000 establishments.

Italy’s large number of cafés and restaurants represent 39 per cent of the total, followed by France with 21 per cent for its approximately 149,000 restaurants.

The UK has the largest number of hotel establishments at about 39,000.

Coffee is a large part of Italian culture, explaining the large number of cafés (about 148,000).

With so many possible distribution points for coffee machines, few machines are sold direct from the manufacturer to the establishment. Most manufacturers use in large part intermediaries like coffee roasters, coffee merchants or other distributors of bar equipment. 

In the five countries analysed, only 10 per cent of new coffee machines are distributed directly from manufacturers, while 59 per cent pass through coffee roasters and 31 per cent through other distributors.

Each country has its own peculiarities.

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