Trends of the UK Coffee Shop Industry

An overview of the 2019 Project Café report, highlighting the five key trends in the coffee shop market as we move forward.

The UK coffee shop industry has been growing for 20 consecutive years, with this trend expected to continue. The total growth for the UK branded coffee shop sector in 2018 was 5.8% with an extra 1,300 stores opening across the country.

UK Coffee Market 2019

Project Café UK 2019 is an annual study made by Allegra World Coffee Portal, who are the leading information platform for the coffee industry. The study looks at the growth and size of the UK coffee shop market and identifies significant trends and critical opportunities for further growth. Here at Esquires Coffee, we've created an overview of the report to help you better understand the fantastic opportunities available in the coffee shop business.

The High Street Challenge

While other bricks and mortar shops have struggled, coffee shops continue to thrive in their place. The research shows that location is the most significant contributing factor for visiting a coffee shop according to consumers. Whether you choose to be close to a train station or near a busy shopping centre or on a residential road, it’s clear that location is key.

Here at Esquires Coffee, we provide bespoke support regarding the location for new partners to our coffee franchise. We can provide solutions for site selection and procurement, including lease negotiation, meaning you will have specialist advice and support from the very beginning.

Two lattes with art on a table with succulent plants


In recent years it has become much easier to find a good cup of coffee, this has raised the standards for consumers and for many, a standard cup of Joe is not enough. This has driven consumer demand for a better class of coffee and produce that tastes better, is ethically sourced and consumed in a unique environment.

Esquires Coffee provides expert training for baristas. This training is combined with our ethically sourced Fair-Trade beans and an environment that is individual to each coffee shop. Born from this is an outlet that not only satisfies the local demand but also offers its customers an experience that is undeniably superior.

Coffee Shop Trends

Technology is also affecting the marketing of coffee shop brands, with social media being the most powerful for coffee shop marketing.

Brexit Uncertainty

The continued confusion with the UK's future relationship with the EU has impacted much of the economy in recent years. Despite doubts from industry leaders, the coffee market has continued to grow in the years following the Brexit vote. In other news, a 'barista visa' is to be debated by the government, to allow temporary work rights in the UK for EU citizens.

Coffee Shop Industry

The coffee industry remains resilient, with most of the people interviewed by Allegra believing that the coffee industry would perform much better than the expected UK GDP. These predictions make the coffee shop business a solid investment in turbulent times.

A cup of coffee in front of a view of London

The Merger

Last year saw the beginnings of global expansion for several huge brands through merging; however, working together is not just limited to big business.

If you’ve always dreamed of opening your own business but don’t feel like you have the industry knowledge or resource, a franchise is a great way to work with experts to achieve your dream. Not only that, but even experienced business people can gain from the customer loyalty and buying power of a chain.

5th Wave Development

A new era of measured, boutique hospitality. The 5th wave is a next level coffee shop experience that brings customers a revolutionary, artisan experience in a speciality environment. The never-ending search for something unique by consumers has seen a growth in such outlets in recent years that is predicted to continue. Perhaps an extension to the earlier point of innovation, customers are looking for better products and environments. The 5th wave provides consumers with the next step in the coffee shop experience.

The future is looking good for the UK coffee shop market, and franchising is a great way to start running your own business. Esquires Coffee offers industry expertise, innovation and market experience, with the added elements of a nationally-recognised brand that offers Fair-Trade and ethically-sourced coffee. Why not have a look at another one of our blogs on whether franchising is right for you?

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