Coffee shop boom ‘far from over’

Coffee shop boom ‘far from over’

The independent coffee shop boom is far from over with a further 780 sites predicted to open by 2023.

Almost 500 new independent coffee bars opened their doors on high streets across the UK between 2012 and 2017 (a net increase of 9%) – making it the fastest-growing category in food and drink over the period.

Research by the American Express Shop Small campaign, and forecasting by retail experts GlobalData, has revealed that the nation will see a further 780 new independent coffee bars open by 2023 - an increase of 13%. That would mean that the UK would be home to 6,604 independent coffee shops – up from 5,337 in 2012 and 5,826 in 2017.

It said, the trend is in part being driven by millennial consumers, who are turning to coffee shops as their preferred social meeting spaces.

The research shows that almost two thirds (65%) of millennials agree that cafes and coffee shops are their favourite places to socialise with their friends.

This trend has had a big impact on consumer spending patterns, as research has found that UK consumers spend £9.6 billion annually on coffee alone.

“While the big coffee shop groups have grown substantially, opportunities persist for independents, who have carved out a niche for themselves and continue to thrive,” said Maureen Hinton, global retail research director at GlobalData.

“The fact that they are increasingly seen as a social destination by younger consumers – who are also attracted by the wider food range on offer – means we anticipate there will be a further increase in the rate of growth in the coming five years.”

American Express and GlobalData examined trends in openings from 2017-2023 and ran research amongst 2,250 consumers to understand current attitudes and behaviours to develop a forecast that paints a positive outlook for the sector.



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