With each new year, new coffee shop trends take shape. The way consumers enjoy coffee and interact with coffee businesses continues to shift as different priorities emerge.
2021 brought continued tests of resilience, and these challenges likely won’t abate in the coming year. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of exciting trends coming to coffee shops over the next few months!
Cautious COVID Measures
We’ve all been living with the threat of COVID much longer than any of us first anticipated back in 2020, so this one still makes the list.
We expect 2022 to bring the continued reinforcement of strict safety protocols. These kinds of things have become the norm and will remain so:
- Robust click and collect or delivery services designed to reduce contact and sustain coffee shops in the event of a lockdown.
- Hand sanitiser stations throughout the establishment.
- Barriers at tills.
- Signs reminding customers to wear masks and socially distance.
- Reduced number of patrons in at one time.
Employee Well-Being During COVID
Employee well-being has been a hot topic in many industries over the past year, and coffee shops should be no different. As the number of people working in hospitality decreases, we may see employees in these roles offered more benefits to retain them and attract others to the industry.
More workplaces are also starting to implement more thorough systems to support the emotional well-being of their employees. Interacting with people all day can make being a barista a somewhat emotionally demanding job, especially during uncertain times – so, a more concerted effort towards supporting employee well-being could be a welcome trend in the coffee shop industry.
Smart Coffee Shop Marketing
How can coffee shops stand out from the crowd? Good coffee is pretty easy to get a hold of these days, so coffee shops must make their mark and start marketing themselves smarter than before – and providing not just good but excellent coffee too, of course!
This includes marketing towards younger audiences who are often responsible for spreading trends around the internet. Utilising the digital landscape to find out what your customers want and how you can best deliver it is one of the best ways to get your coffee shop out there in 2022.
Effective branding and customer convenience are essential when moving your brand online. Cultivating an online presence is now virtually inescapable if you want to create a complete modern coffee shop experience.
Supporting Local Businesses
According to the 2021 Impact of Coffee Survey, 68% of people said that supporting local coffee businesses was important in deciding where to buy their coffee.
Local coffee shops have historically been social hubs for the community; we will see a continued trend towards more of us investing in our communities, especially as working from coffee shops and booking out spaces continues to become popular.
Increased Coffee Prices
So what about when it comes to coffee?
Because of the frosts in Brazil (the world’s biggest coffee producer) earlier in 2021, coffee has been more scarce than usual, resulting in disruptions to the supply chains.
This event, along with the continued threat of the climate crisis, means that the price of coffee is going up. Experts expect us to be paying more for coffee than we have in previous years well into 2023 – and it could be even longer if climate change and more sustainable possibilities for coffee are left unaddressed.
Sustainable Coffee & Conscious Consumers
The public conversation around sustainability in coffee shops is no longer confined to the importance of using reusable coffee cups and recycling coffee grinds – although these things are vital too and help individuals do their part to leave the world a better place.
With the rise of more conscious consumers, more people are becoming aware of the dramatic changes to the climate, how this affects coffee farms and how coffee farming can become more sustainable and fair for the farmers.
Transparency, along with sustainability, is becoming somewhat of a buzzword, as customers want to know more about the journey of the coffee bean, along with the efforts that coffee shops are making to increase environmentally-friendly practices.
More MiIlk Alternatives
Milk alternatives have been around for years, with almond milk being the most popular and easy to get hold of. With the exponential growth of alternative milk drinkers, far more options are now readily available.
Over the past year, oat milk has overtaken almond milk as the non-dairy milk of choice in the UK. We expect this preference isn’t going away anytime soon but, with some newcomers on the market, there are plenty of milk alternatives to rival oat milk in the years to come.
One particular alternative to keep an eye on is potato milk. While it sounds a little odd, drinkers of this plant-based milk swear by it – don't worry, it doesn’t taste like potatoes! Potatoes use around half the amount of land it takes to grow the number of oats you would need for the equivalent milk, so climate-conscious consumers may be more than convinced.
Coffee Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes have seen a steady rise over the last two years, thanks to the in-person shopping limitations and the availability of more online options. This is no different with the coffee industry.
Coffee drinkers enjoy drinking quality coffee at home, and many coffee shops are beginning to take advantage of this with personalised subscription boxes and coffee deliveries.
The coffee subscription box trend caters to customers’ increased interest in quality at-home coffee experiences and is an easy way for more people to get into artisan coffees.
As a well-loved community hotspot, a coffee franchise offers a brilliant opportunity to start a thriving business. Despite the difficulties of recent years, there are plenty of coffee shop trends to harness in 2022 to ensure your venture becomes a success!
Have you got what it takes to become an Esquires Coffee franchise partner? Head over to our FAQs to find out.
About the author - Jack Anderson
Jack has been working in the franchise sector for over 12 years and is our in-house guru on all things business! Jack is also a keen hiker and can be found in some of the UK's best walking spots on the weekends.
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