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Who Owns Costa Coffee?

Who Owns Costa Coffee?

Costa Coffee is a coffee house chain located in the United Kingdom with its headquarters in Dunstable, United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1971 by Sergio Costa in London. In 1995, the company was acquired by Whitbread, who later sold it to the Coca-Cola company in 2019.

Since then, Costa Coffee has grown to more than 3400 stores in 31 countries with over 18,000 employees. In the United Kingdom, Costa Coffee has more than 2000 restaurants and over 6000 vending facilities. Overseas, the company has more than 1200 outlets, with 460 in China alone.

Background Information on Costa Coffee

The company was founded by Sergio Costa in 1971 in Fenchurch Street in London. He used to supply coffee to the local caterers before he decided to open the company. In 1950, he shifted from England to Italy and settled in Parma with his family. Sergio did not stop supplying coffee. Later in 1981, he opened a branched company store in Vauxhall Bridge Road, London.

In 1995, the company had grown to more than 40 cafes in the United Kingdom when Whitbread acquired it. Whitbread was the UK’s largest coffee shop and hotel chain. By 2009, Costa Coffee opened up in more than 1000 coffee stores in the UK. Later that year, the company acquired the a Polish coffee chain coffee and so added an additional 80 stores in Eastern and Central Europe.

In 2018, Whitbread, who acquired the company, suffered tremendous pressure from two principal activist shareholders, Elliot Advisers and Sachem Head. These two shareholders demanded that Costa Coffee be sold or split so that individual income would spike. The same year, Whitbread announced its intention to split Costa Coffee within two years to meet the requirements of the largest shareholders. Within two years, the company was purchased by the Coca-Cola company for 4.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Dominic Paul succeeded as the company’s chief executive officer in January 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of all the coffee stores in the United Kingdom. However, they soon reopened for for drive-through and takeaway orders. This year, Costa Coffee stopped its famous Costa Book Awards started by its previous owner, Whitbread, fifty-one years earlier.

What Products Does Costa Coffee Produce?

The company sells cakes, hot drinks, cold drinks, snacks, pastries, and sandwiches. It collaborated with three leading chocolate brands – After Eight, Terry's, and Quality Street in 2020 for a high-end limited edition of Christmas drinks.

In 2017, Costa Coffee relocated its roasteries from Lambeth to Basildon in Essex with a £38 million investment in new roasting facilities. This increased their annual roasted coffee production from 11,000 to 45,000 tonnes. The company introduced canned coffees as one of its new products in 2020.

Costa Coffee Operations

The company had more than 2,400 active outlets in the United Kingdom by 2019. It also has and additional 1,413 stores in thirty-one countries, with the first store out of the United Kingdom located in the United Arab Emirates. The outlet was the first coffee store to start delivering coffee orders through drones.

In January 2022, the company records reveal that it has spread to three continents and thirty-seven countries with a total of 3884 stores. The following table shows the exact distribution of Costa Coffee stores in the world:

Country

No. Of Locations

United Kingdom    

2,467

Poland          

147

Ireland

114

Czech Republic      

58

Croatia

7

Russia

36

Hungary       

1

Spain

27

Bulgaria       

21

Latvia

11

Malta

11

France

8

Portugal

5

Germany

3

Turkey

2 (4 in 2022)

China

460

United Arab Emirates

150

India

57

Saudi Arabia

56

Kuwait         

95

Qatar 

1

Cyprus

24

Bahrain

23

South Africa

6

Indonesia

1

Jordan           

4

Cambodia    

4

Kazakhstan

12

Malaysia

7

Philippines

16

Oman

22

Mexico

1

Lebanon

1

Egypt

44

Vietnam

1

Morocco

3

Greece

1

Facts About Costa Coffee Company

  • It Is One of The Largest Beverage Companies

With more than 4000 outlet stories distributed globally, its stands as the second largest coffee chain in the world.

  • It has numerous stores in the world, but none is located in the USA

The data in the table above shows that the company has several stores across three continents, with none located in the United States of America.

  • Its overall sales have reduced significantly.

Over the past decade, the company's growth rate has been astonishing. Whitbread acquired the company from Costa Sergio for £19 million in 1995 and had only 39 stores in the United Kingdom. Theo Coca-Cola paid 3.9 billion when buying it from Whitbread, an astonishing growth rate in two decades. Although this is promising, the company’s overall sales have reduced over the past years. The growth sales reduced from 24 percent in 2013 to 11 percent in 2017.

  • It started from a small level.

Although the company is worth billions today, it was started by Sergio Costa and his brother in 1971 as an Italian-style coffee with stores in the United Kingdom alone. Their production was based on the family roaster. Today, the company still uses the style used by the founders to produce coffee.

  • It was the first company to start delivering coffee using drones

Besides recycling its coffee cans, the company delivers coffee orders through drones. That makes it convenient for some people who can't afford to reach local stores for coffee.

The Bottom Line

Costa Coffee is a coffee house located in Great Britain with its headquarters in Dunstable, United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1971 by Sergio Costa in London. In 1995, the company was acquired by Whitbread, who later sold it to the Coca-Cola company in 2019. Since then, Costa Coffee has grown to more than 3400 stores in 31 countries.

The company was founded by Sergio Costa in 1971 in London Fenchurch Street. He used to supply coffee to the local caterers before he decided to open the company. In 1950, he shifted from England to Italy and settled in Parma with his family. Sergio did not stop supplying coffee. Later in 1981, he opened a branched company store in Vauxhall Bridge Road, London.


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