Market Data & Insights:

7 reasons to choose a private label coffee

Establishing yourself as a well-known coffee brand, in such a competitive marketplace, is no small feat, particularly in the UK. 

In 2018, the UK drank 10 million cups of coffee per day, in a market now estimated to be worth £6.48bn (Kantar Worldpanel OOH Purchase, 52 w/e 24 Feb 2019). It’s clear to see that the coffee market has exploded, experiencing a huge 45% annual growth rate (The Grocer 2019). 

In the Out Of Home (OOH) sector, big named coffee brands such as Lavazza, Illy and Rijo have demonstrated a strong presence in all kinds of outlets across the nation. While most customers will be familiar with such bigger coffee brands, as a distributor should you be leaning towards your own specialty coffees for the independent coffee sector instead? 

Independent coffee shops are considered the biggest growth channel for coffee, witnessing an increase of 26% in 2018 (Allegra Project Café UK 2019). Therefore, would it be in a distributors best interest to invest in private label coffee over big branded coffee?

What is private label coffee?

Private label coffee is coffee which is sold by a retailer or distributor, under their own brand, after sourcing it from a coffee roaster.

Why choose private label coffee?


By opting to work with a coffee roaster, you can directly tap into their experience and expertise. Having a coffee partner allows you to learn about the latest coffee innovations and developments, as well as accessing key information that can help you promote and sell your products. 

Additionally, you can take advantage of the quality control services, as well as the ability to roast to order ensuring you have only the freshest beans! These are both things that will help propel your business forward.


Coffee products can be manufactured solely for a particular retailer, to suit the overall image and identity they want to project. Given the current climate, weaving in sustainability and social corporate responsibilities are helping to sustain loyalty as well as attracting new custom. 

According to Allegra, this is something that is held in a similar regard to that of the importance of the brand itself. Meanwhile, according to the report, the two things that will get customers coming back again and again are the flavour and taste of the coffee which are still championed above anything else. 


The freedom that comes with choosing private label coffee is surely one of the biggest attractions. Creating and implementing a brand identity is a process that allows you to add your own influence and put a stamp on your product. From the name to the design, through to the type of coffee, its pack size and style, you have the chance to offer something different to your competitors and stand out!  


Another exciting aspect for any distributors choosing private label coffee is the amount of flexibility you can have. Selecting bespoke blends, created from different origins to help develop new and unique flavour combinations gives your customers the flexibility to choose what’s best suited for them and their sites. 


Whilst private labelled coffee products tend to retail cheaper than the national brands, it doesn’t mean they’re of a lesser quality.

Today, that’s not the case. Emerging technologies and manufacturing processes have become more cost effective. Plus exacting market standards and regulations are required before any distribution, ensuring the quality of the product. This alone is largely responsible for the popularity of private label coffee increasing its market share across Europe.


By creating your own brand identity, there are no restrictions when it comes to creating and promoting content. When it comes to social media, private label products can become quite widespread with the correct marketing behind it.  

What’s more is that it’s not surprising to find private label products in and amongst generic items in a retail outlet, allowing it to have more presence in a wider number of places, in comparison to a big brand. 

Private label brands are also very common online with many sellers on Amazon, ebay and other trading platforms.


Generally, you will pay more for a big brand coffee, in comparison to a private label coffee. Bigger brands are often more expensive, as they command a premium to support their marketing and brand building exercises. As a result, private label coffee could be deemed better value for money. With a private label coffee, you are not paying a branded premium but still getting a superior coffee product.

Positives of private label coffee

rivate label coffee is ideal for start-ups and entrepreneurs but it can also be useful for established brands who want to try something different. 

Once a strong, private label coffee brand has been created, there’ll be more opportunity to distribute to the likes of independent coffee shops, pubs and bars. If the coffee brand becomes even more established, more doors will open, allowing the potential for sales in retail. 

Despite leading coffee outlets like Costa, Nero & Starbucks making up almost 20% of the market, the attitude towards coffee can often favour the independents. Coffee connoisseurs are always looking for the next new trend and private label coffees are more likely to deliver this. They tend to be smaller and more niche, attracting the coffee enthusiasts who enjoy the creative element. And, if they like you, they’re likely to stay with you.  In contrast, big brands often limit their options and lose customer loyalty.

Private label coffee at Lincoln & York

Although we are one of many private label coffee manufacturers, we like to think that the long lasting relationships we’ve established with our distributors and customers gives us an edge. 

Our clients can rely on our 30 years of coffee roasting expertise, our outstanding facilities which produce superior quality coffee, as well as our professional and friendly customer service, for all of their coffee needs. 

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