Innovate Blog
Exciting coffee shop trends

Thursday June 25, 2015

Vegans, bubbles and spicy peppers… Why these things are changing our coffee shops.

It is undeniable that coffee shops have taken a firm, and welcomed place within our high streets, train stations and vacant store spaces; and with the amount of UK coffee shops estimated to surpass 20,500 by 2018* it could prove tough to stand out from the crowd.

A recent report by Pragma, a UK based retail and marketing consultancy, showed that 29% of people admitted that ‘coffee shops are all too similar’ and for that reason, no longer excited by them. With this in mind we endeavoured to find trends within the market that have the aim of giving the excitement back to the consumers.

A rising trend across the United Kingdom is a concept borrowed from the streets of Taiwan, Bubble Tea. Bubble Tea – or as it is sometimes known, ‘Boba Tea’ – is traditionally an iced tea drink in which tapioca pearls or ‘bubbles’ are added and then sucked through the straw for flavour. In a recent debut, establishments are offering a variation on this product by offering a combination of flavours; milk tea and passion fruit pearls, coconut water and pineapple pearls and bursting bubbles are just some of the inventions you will find on the menu.

From summer drinks to a drink to suit the colder months; tea with spiced infused honey is set to become one of next year’s growing developments throughout cafés. Habanero Peppers, ginger and chilli will be no longer associated with our favourite spicy dishes, but our favourite spicy teas. Although maybe only for the daring consumers, there is no denying that this twist on our English favourite is anything but ordinary.

‘Coffeehouse/Music venue/Conference setting/Art Gallery/Library’ may not make it onto the signs of many coffee shops, but is and will be the selling point of an increasing number of beverage outlets. Versatility is a word that we have become to love in this modern age, a phone that acts as a car key, a watch that also plays music and a coffee shop that can act as a venue for your latest client meetings. Rather than bumping their ‘Americano’ off their menu to make room for a quirky recipe, some shops have chosen to open up their space for alternative purposes to attract more than just the coffee drinker.

In keeping with the modern consumer, ‘drive-thru coffee shops’ are the next step for the giants of the industry, albeit the United States of America has mastered the art of the drive-thru, Britons are already embracing the idea.

Around 1 in 5 people visit a coffee shop everyday and 25% of those said that they regularly seek out shops that offer something different to their customers**,  these innovative products, recipes and designs are things that many consumers are looking for, and are shifting the scene of the UK coffee shop market.