Important Cost Factors for Office Coffee Machines in the UK

Coffee consumption is on the rise in 2019, and the UK is amongst Europe’s top five countries representing nearly ¾ of the total value of coffee consumption.

The popular drink is consumed in many different settings: from homes to bars, restaurants and offices. In the UK, 44% (increasing) of the coffee that is drunk outside of the home is consumed in an office setting. It is no secret that coffee can aid in increasing focus and productivity, and with UK workers spending the majority of their day in the workplace, this figure should not come as a big surprise.

Office Coffee Machines in the UK

About coffee machines for the office, there are many factors to bear in mind to determine what is most important for the business.

The cost of a coffee machine can range anywhere between £1,500-£12,000, depending on the number of drinks and drink output a company needs or wants. At the lower end of the spectrum, you can find an entry level machine that would dispense 40-60 cups of coffee per day, whereas a more expensive machine for approximately £8,000 would dispense 300-400 cups per day.

To get an idea of how much a coffee machine would cost for an office, there are three key things to consider:

  • The size of the company
  • The location, and
  • The type of coffee that the machine dispenses

1.  Is There a Difference in Price for Coffee Machines for Big and Small Offices?

The inherent price of a coffee machine will not be affected by the size of the office. However, as bigger offices typically require a higher number of units, the overall investment costs will naturally increase.

If there is a large office with four floors, and one machine is required for each floor, obviously this order will be considerably more expensive than a smaller office looking to buy only one machine.

That being said, most suppliers typically offer a discount on a larger order.  Customers could expect to receive a discount of between 5-15%, depending on the number of units needed.

In terms of coffee volume, rather than per machine, then one could say that the bigger the office, the more expensive the coffee. This is because the price of coffee is related to volume. The cost varies between £7-£25 per kilo of coffee, depending on the type of coffee purchased.

2.  What Is the Difference in Price Amongst UK Countries or Zones?

Another cost factor is the office’s geographic location in the UK. Although there is not a big difference in coffee machine prices in the various regions, if the office is located in a very remote place in the UK, then there may be difficulty in securing an agreement with a manufacturer or supplier.

When purchasing a coffee machine, you may also need to factor in the installation cost, depending on the type of machine. A plumbed-in solution will certainly incur installation costs, and this service will therefore increase the price of the order.

There is a trend towards price sensitivity in the outer regions of the UK, compared to cities such as London. In London, businesses are willing to pay a premium price for their coffee machines, as it is more about the convenience and flexibility that a coffee machine offers. In addition, they are willing to pay a higher price for a good service.

For this reason, manufacturers can see a trend of London businesses purchasing more bean-to-cup machines, and paying a premium price for this.

In comparison, companies located in northern parts of the country display a more conservative approach when it comes to coffee machine purchases. Machines in the outer regions are more price sensitive, as businesses are not as willing to pay a premium price for the perk of office coffee.

In the Midlands, for example, the most popular type of coffee is filter coffee. This is one of the cheapest types of coffee machines a business can purchase.

3.  Does the Type of Coffee a Machine Can Dispense Affect the Price?

A machine’s price will differ according to the type of coffee it dispenses. Generally speaking, the more functionalities the machine has to offer, the more expensive it will be. Depending on the machine, you will pay somewhere between £7-£25 per kilo of coffee.

For this reason, smaller businesses tend to opt for simple solutions, such as filter coffee or capsule machines.

Capsule machines typically cost approximately 20-35 pence per cup of coffee. This is a very convenient type of coffee machine, but an expensive solution. Companies that opt for this customarily value convenience over price, as there is little to no maintenance needed.

The bean-to-cup coffee machine is a very popular type of machine, as it can cater to many different sized businesses. The major plus of this machine is very fresh tasting coffee as the beans are ground just before each brew, resulting in gourmet-tasting coffee with each cup.

The bean-to-cup machine can be found in small to large offices. It is considered a premium coffee machine, but a cheaper alternative to capsule machines. The price per cup for a bean-to-cup machine, on average, costs 10-20 pence.

Finally, the coffee vending machine is the type of office coffee machine that larger businesses tend to go for. Although there can be high installation and service costs, it is a very convenient type of machine that commonly offers a wide variety of drink options. A mid-range vending machine can cost between £1,400-£1,700.

Written by Natalie Kunz, Content Coordinator of Market Inspector.
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