The value of the iced and blended beverages market in UK coffee shops has grew by 18% in 2016 to reach an estimated £338m turnover, Allegra World Coffee Portal reveals.

The category accounts for 3.8% of the total coffee shop market sales, an increase from 3.6% sales share in 2015.

The Iced Beverages 2017 report, part of the Project Café UK Series from Allegra, observes sales growth in the iced and blended beverages category outperformed the growth in the overall coffee shop sector, which increased by 12% to hit £8.9bn turnover in 2016.

Growth in the category was driven in part by an increase in prices, but also by a rise in consumer participation.

As more operators offer a wider range of iced beverages, the growth is set to continue through 2017.

Seasonality is starting to show signs of stretch, with the established May to September season expanding into the April and October months.

A recent consumer study conducted by Allegra World Coffee Portal shows that habitual uptake is developing and 1 in 5 consumers are buying iced beverages all year round.

As health and wellness trends takes hold, operators are offering a wide range of iced beverages to meet consumer demand for healthy indulgent treats.

Leading brands are innovating with flavours, and delivering authentic, handcrafted beverages across the range.

According to the consumer study, the most important attributes when choosing an iced beverage are the use of fresh ingredients, good value for money and that the beverage is freshly prepared from scratch.

Pre-prepared iced beverages came in as the least important attribute to the consumer.

Allegra said as the category grows, all operators will need to offer freshly made iced beverage and blended smoothie offerings to attract and retain the increasingly health conscious consumer.

The most innovative short-term development will be the growth of cold brew and nitro coffee, with high street chains following on from Starbucks’ lead.