How many Brits are now lying awake at night thinking, if only I hadn't quaffed that last Caramel Brulee Frappuccino? The number of people in this predicament is increasing as the UK becomes 'Insomniac Nation' according to latest data.
An increasing number of us, apparently, idle away our lives in coffee shops -probably chained to our smartphones or tablets or laptops. According to a recent report the British are drinking more and more coffee in a bid, presumably, to feed a growing caffeine habit.
In the last 12 months 2.2 billion cups of coffee have been purchased and poured down the nation's throats. It is a burgeoning market and caffeine entrepreneurs have not been slow to take advantage of the trend. It is an interesting feature of modern British culture which has led to an increase in the number of coffee shops on the High Street.
It seems we are increasingly slipping into coffee shops to sit glued to our mobile phones (our other addiction) while satisfying our caffeine needs.
Latest figures from Allegra Strategies shows that there are now 20,728 coffee outlets in the UK, up from 19,035 in 2014. In turn, this compares with some 8,887 coffee shops in 2005. So, as the nation has become hooked on Americanos, Lattes, Frappuccinos and Cappuccinos, the number of shops around to serve us has increased by a staggering 133 per cent. In the UK in 2016 there now approximately one coffee shop for every 3000 residents.
But there is no indication that this trend is running out of steam with the UK predicted to have 30,000 coffee outlets by 2025.
Top this off with statistics that suggest around 16 per cent of us buy a coffee everyday, up from 14 per cent in the previous year, evidence of the strength of this strand of consumerism.
In total the coffee shop market sector is now worth around £8 billion ($11.8 billion) with Britain's biggest chains Costa, Starbucks and Caffe Nero claiming a 53 per cent share of the market.
Costa Coffee, owned by Whitbreads, are now the biggest chain in the UK with 1,992 outlets, while Starbucks (the largest global chain) have 849 shops. Other top competitors include Caffe Nero with 620 coffee shops, Pret A Manger 374 and Wild Bean Cafe (operating in partnership with BP service stations) with 288 outlets.
Don't be fooled, however, this is not simply big chain growth. We are not simply going to be Costafied or Starbucked to death. Like hungry traders looking for an edge, supermarkets, stores and pubs are wise to the market. Tesco, for example, now leads the supermarkets having already installed 481 coffee outlets in their shops while Morrisons are close behind with 389.
I pause, stop banging the keys on my laptop and look up. Around me in Starbucks, Kensington High Street, London, people sit in little groups studying their smartphones and sipping Americanos. I relax back into my seat and try to decided whether to order another Cappuccino...or not.