Every year, the way consumers enjoy coffee and interact with UK coffee chains continues to shift as different priorities emerge. There are always new trends taking shape, giving insightful coffee shops the opportunity to shine above the rest.
While the coffee shop industry is not without its challenges, as always, there are plenty of exciting trends for UK coffee shops to embrace over the next few months! We share our top trend predictions for 2024 to help you stay ahead.
Smart Coffee Shop Marketing
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 digital tools to find out what your customers want and how you can best deliver it is one of the best ways to market your coffee shop in 2024.
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.
Aesthetic Coffee Shop Interiors
Over the last couple years the importance of interior design in coffee shops has grown rapidly. Although great tasting coffee is extremely important, the impact of appealing, aesthetic interiors cannot be overstated. Not only is it about an aesthetic interior looking welcoming and inviting to customers, but also how it makes them feel during their coffee shop experience.
Think about how the space is laid out, lit, furnished and decorated. This will help to improve and contribute to your customers feelings whilst enjoying the perfect cup of coffee. Designers can help to create a space that will resonate at a high level with your customers, understanding how they’ll respond intuitively to colours, materials, light levels and noise levels.
Having a well thought out interior will positively impact your store and improve the whole customer experience.
Supporting Local Business
For more and more of us, ensuring we’re supporting local coffee businesses can be an important deciding factor when choosing where to buy our 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 remains popular.
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 Milk Alternatives
Milk alternatives have been around for years, with almond milk being the most popular and easy to get hold of. Due to the exponential growth of alternative milk drinkers, far more options are now readily available.
Over the past couple years, 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.
Better Tea Options
Although the UK is known for its reputation as a tea drinking nation, according to a report from World Coffee Portal’s Cakes, Shakes & Tea Brakes study, 37% of UK consumers perceive tea served in coffee shops as poor value for money and not promoted well.
Selling and promoting a healthy range of teas including matcha, turmeric, and green tea could help tea sales turn over a new leaf. These teas have grown in popularity over that last couple of years, as more and more people are choosing to drink the healthier option, not to mention drinking matcha has become talk of the town recently.
Promoting a range of teas will help entice new people to go to your coffee shop, making it part of more customers' daily routine. Think about providing a better menu with various options including:
- Traditional teas
- Healthier teas
Coffee Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes have seen a steady rise over the last few 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 have taken 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.
Embracing some of these trends and keeping an eye on what’s to come helps ensure that your coffee shop is adaptable and always changing with the market!
As a well-loved community hotspot, a coffee franchise offers a brilliant opportunity to start a thriving business. So, have you got what it takes to become an Esquires Coffee franchise partner? Head over to our coffee franchise FAQs to find out more, or apply today.
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.