hot drinks

The Rise of the Hot Drinks Category in the UK

Whether it’s tea, coffee or hot chocolate…we love them all in the UK. With predictions of the Hot Drinks Market growing 2.4% in 2024, it’s worth getting to know the category a bit better!

At Elephants Can’t Jump, we’ve been taking some time to understand more about the category and the brands within it. What is it about hot drinks brands that make the category so good? (other than the fact they keep our hands nice and toasty in the winter months!)

Here are three brands within each category that we thought were noteworthy:

Tea: Fortnum & Mason (a Disney-esque Experience)

Fortnum & Mason are a brilliant brand that are bringing beautiful tea and coffee experiences to British culture. Oozing with rich culture and history, they perfectly bring together old heritage with new innovation and relevance. In short, they know their tea.

Fortnum & Mason

From black and green, herbal and fruit, loose leaf and infusion to the teaware that surrounds the delightful hot drink, Fortnum & Mason has done a stellar job to keep tea interesting.

All tea flavours on sale have been thoroughly researched and developed with the consumer in mind. From entrance to exit, the entire experience is steeped in elegance, luxury, silver service and fine British heritage. Ask any staff member for the newest tea trends or the brand’s history and they gladly oblige with delightful service.

Fortnum & Mason Experience

Wearing their distinctive red coats, personal shopping stewards guide customers around the store, while carrying their belongings and offering tailored product recommendations. Old fashioned, magical, almost Disney-esque!

Coffee: Nespresso (Elevating Retail)

Nespresso own coffee. And George Clooney now owns sophisticated (but mainstream) coffee through his brand ambassador role.

Nespresso George Clooney
Suave, sophisticated and dynamic: George Clooney is the face of Nespresso

Coffee machines and coffee pod packaging around Nespresso stores resemble art pieces. With pods beautifully displayed under glass cabinets and soft backlights, the in-store experience is similar to being in a modern art gallery.

Nespresso Pods

After introducing their ‘Boutique Coffee Experience‘ last year, Nespresso has elevated its retail approach to inspire and excite customers. By using augmented reality experiences, interactive tutorials and tasting experiences, they fully engage customers into coffee – the Nespresso way.

By perfectly combining their coffee expertise with beautiful emotional branding, Nespresso has built a fantastic coffee brand. Almost to the extent that a Nespresso Coffee machine has become somewhat of a status symbol for the masses!

With good quality insight*, Nespresso broadened their audience with success. As a result, high-quality coffee has entered UK homes, bringing elegance and sophistication to daily home life. Perfect for the new age of working from home!

Hot Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat (Innovating for Luxury)

Hotel Chocolat revived themselves by focusing their efforts into innovation in the hot chocolate space. With their iconic Velvetiser they took the hot chocolate experience to the next level. Now anyone could produce barista-grade hot chocolate in a couple of minutes to enjoy “chocolate melded into cloud-like luxury velvet”.

As the premium gifting chocolate space was getting more and more cluttered, Hotel Chocolat reimagined the new premium in-home way to make hot chocolate. As the brand themselves put it, ‘When you’re craving delectably smooth, whipped hot chocolate, make it your daily ritual with the Velvetiser.’

“Mayan ingenuity meets urbane engineering.”

Hotel Chocolat

Not only did Hotel Chocolate bring the Velvetiser, they also upped their flavour game. With hot chocolate flavours ranging from hazelnut praline, to black forest gateau, to vanilla white hot chocolate, anyone can find their favourites, but also try something new and unique.

Hot Drinks - hot chocolate

What brands in the hot drinks category have you noticed lately? Let us know!

*Interested in gaining insight into your consumer base? Have a look at what that would involve here.

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