Coffee and tea dominate our lives, and it’s for many good reasons. Coffee has been our socializing tool for many years. Since our forefathers sipped from a cup of this miraculous drink, social setups have tremendously evolved.
Thanks to coffee evenings, people found a reason to meet and connect more often. Coffee brings people together. No wonder it didn’t take long to become the primary fabric of our nation’s social structures.
Legend has it that early coffee houses banned women. The 1700s coffee house, only frequented by distinguished personalities, is famed for rowdy debates and discussions.
Coffee houses of today are everyone’s safe abode. Many no longer serve alcohol but coffee and tea with energizing snacks for the heart’s rhythm. The atmosphere is often more inclusive as more coffee joints embrace serene spaces.
This inclusivity propelled the growth of the UK beverage industry to astronomic levels. The coffee and tea industry in the UK generated around 2.1 billion pounds (revenues) in 2019.
UK Coffee Industry during the Toughest Period in History
2020 and 2021 marked one of the most challenging periods in the hospitality industry. Hotels, restaurants and coffee shops suffered more than other industries.
Many drastic measures to protect lives during the COVID-19 pandemic left many small businesses crumbling. Big coffee shops saw sales drop by 40% for the first time in twenty years during the first lockdown.
Many of the pre-Covid 19 gains seen in the industry were almost wiped away. But even as the outdoor beverage culture suffered, coffee and tea consumption rates soared.
Customer habits changed in favour of supermarkets, subscription coffee services, and takeaway coffee vendors. Retailers saw coffee sales spike by 74% in the first week of lockdowns.
Britons’ addiction to coffee and tea is incorrigible. No wonder coffee ties with tea as the UK’s favourite beverage. 63% of the respondents in a Statista survey said they regularly consume both coffee and tea.
The Recent Boom in Coffee Shops, Cafes, and Tea Rooms
There’s ever hope for coffee shops as long the Briton’s love affair with outdoor coffee experiences remains steadfast. Time has shown that the shift to at-home coffee drinking was temporary.
Amy Price, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel predicted the retail coffee market losing some sales after lockdowns. Many people were bound to drift back to the established coffee culture after the pandemic.
Coffee shops and cafes have always been intimate for many of us. We all have our favourite coffee stomping grounds. And we often feel sick if we skip a week without visiting the local barista.
Besides, a great cup of latte always goes with a great atmosphere. The design elements, the music, and the perked-up friends also significantly impact what we experience.
According to psychology studies, humans crave a social life. It’s what makes us human in the first place. And when it’s combined with something to energize us, we feel like we are on cloud nine.
For these reasons, coffee shops could sustain the harsh economic effects and continue shaping our social lives. The Briton’s affinity with outdoor coffee is one of the reasons the industry looks bubbly again.
More coffee shops, cafes, and tea rooms are popping up in the UK. The UK branded coffee shops market recovered after the pandemic by 87%. Market studies suggest that the UK market can exceed 10000 outlets by 2026.
Coffee and Tea Sharing a Symbiotic Relationship
Today, the popularity of coffee shops goes beyond the affinity for coffee. Many coffee shops have to adapt to accommodate everyone’s palette.
Tea is available in many coffee shops, and coffee is available in plenty of tea rooms. We may be different, but these two beverages continue to bind us together.
The customs of British coffee and tea culture continue to change over time. Tea rooms that were once a place for women to mingle gave way to more casual joints.
Today’s tea rooms are as good as cafes due to their offerings and ability to bring all of us together. Nowadays, tea shops are a place for meetups, relaxing, and socializing, just like coffee shops.
One reason many joints may offer both beverages is to please all customers. We have friends who like only one of the two beverages. Meanwhile, some people like both beverages equally.
Plus, it feels perfectly normal taking several cups of tea after your morning coffee session. And who wouldn’t want to get the best of both worlds? You’ll feel doubly energetic and access more healthy nutrients at the end of the day.
There’s also a growing audience of tea-coffee or tea-espresso fans. This lot mixes tea and coffee, and as they say, it’s pretty good. You have to try this at home to know what you’re missing out on.
Coffee Shop Owners and the Coffee Culture
Finding a cup of good coffee has never been easier than today. Giant coffee chains like Starbucks no longer control the industry than before.
Coffee and tea have gone mainstream as people look for convenience. Local coffee and tea shops have reestablished themselves as social havens.
We may see more people investing in the industry by embracing their favourite joints. The popularity of small coffee shops is likely to increase as some people seek to work from coffee shops.
If you’re a coffee shop owner, you have to figure out how to stand out. Given how the market is more competitive, you must invest in strategic marketing.
Outdoor coffee experiences are now more than just offering good coffee and tea. Think about leaving your mark in your customer’s mind. Offering them quality customer service, even with high-quality coffee cups, can go a long way.
An in-depth understanding of your customer can help you stand out in your community. Coffee shops are about creating a peaceful and engaging space for your customer.
The buck starts and stops with your marketing strategy. A customer-centric approach is the best way to build a business that appeal to your audience. Your main job is to ensure they have an enjoyable and memorable outdoor coffee experience.