There is “huge potential” for coffee shops serving alcoholic drinks, according to new research from CGA Strategy.

A poll of 1,800 consumers found 31% would choose cocktails as their preferred alcoholic drink in coffee shops, potentially generating an extra £77m a year. A total of 26% said they would like to drink sparkling wine.

The research found the availability of alcohol would not necessarily alienate coffee shop regulars, because those who visit coffee shops at least once a week are more likely to choose alcohol than the general population. CGA said 27% of those aged 35 and under would be likely, or very likely, to drink alcohol in coffee shops if it were available, against a national average of 25%.

Some 17% who do not currently visit coffee shops at all say they would be likely to visit if alcoholic drinks were on offer. And seven out of eight consumers who already visit Caffe Nero, Costa or Starbucks also drink alcohol out of home on a regular basis.

CGA Strategy account director Dan McGlynn said: “This research confirms there is a strong appetite for them among consumers, and if licensing restrictions allow, introducing them would give people more reasons to visit during the evening as well as the day. If branded coffee shops can get their offer right, there is huge potential for them to keep guests loyal and increase their sales.”