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Coffee Focus

The appeal of the coffee shop has never been greater and coffee shops have never been more prevalent on the high street than they are today. According to the British Coffee Association, UK consumers drink approximately 55 million cups of coffee per day and 80% of people who visit coffee shops do so at least once per week.

From Lattes, Macchiatos and the simple Espresso, coffee is a hot drink market leader and this is why it makes a savvy investment for the potential franchisor.  According to Allegra Project Café17’s report the UK coffee market reached a turnover of a massive 8.9 billion in 2016.  They also estimated there are a total of 22,845 coffee shops and outlets in the UK.  With such fierce completion it is important to conduct stringent research into coffee franchising if your investment is to reach its potential. 

Data released during UK Coffee Week in April of this year found that 39% of Brits coffee consumption has increased over the past 12 months and 48% of those surveyed kept their consumption levels at the same rate.  Also found was that coffee drinkers are willing to pay an increased premium for quality products, something that looks set to improve the coffee franchising market.  Important to remember is that modern consumers don’t just care about the ‘taste and texture’ of their favourite hot beverage but the conditions it was produced.  Consumers now require more information on the origins of their coffee beans and complete transparency on this subject by vendors is essential if the coffee market is to continue to boom.

With high street coffee franchises expanding year on year, the UK as a whole is now accustomed to having access to a number of options with regards to where to buy their favourite coffee drink from.  Also, with coffee drinkers having a more knowledgeable grasp on where their coffee comes from, as well as expecting more than a quick instant coffee in a polystyrene cup, consumer demand for a fresh take on the coffee market is in more demand than ever.  According to further research by Allegra even with leading national franchises Costa Coffee and Starbucks (alongside non-UK franchised Café Nero) dominating the branded market with a 53% share the plethora of alternative coffee franchises available is astounding. 

Millennials are a major factor in the surge in popularity of the humble coffee shop and have inspired a change across the board for genuinely nice coffee that doesn’t cost the earth.  The decline in the ‘bars, pubs and clubs’ culture is a direct consequence of the increase in coffee shops in recent years.  Coffee shops now have longer opening hours and some even sell alcohol.  According to research conducted by Mintel, a London based market research firm, ‘one third of consumers aged 22-34 want to see more coffee houses serving alcohol in 2017’. 
This introduction of alcohol into the world of coffee is most probably due, in part to the vast difference in worth between these two industries, the wine industry is valued at 4.2 billion and spirits are valued at 5.8 billion, they are surpassed massively by coffees 8.9 billion hold on the economy.  Of course alcohol and coffee is not a new development but the appeal of a ‘one stop shop’ for a relaxed evening out means that owners and baristas alike are constantly searching and inventing new ways to make their evening trade a success.  Many combine coffee and alcohol to create drinks such as espresso martinis others have simply added alcohol to their menus such as ever popular tipples gin and prosecco. 

However it is important not to forget that alongside this emerging market of late night coffee openings, during the daytime coffee shop visitors are generally becoming younger, with outlets now offering better facilities for their younger visitors during this time.  Parents and grandparents find salvation in their local coffee shop as large comfy sofas, ambient lighting and a relaxed atmosphere create the perfect opportunity to escape from the bustling high street.  Beverage choice in coffee outlets are deviating from the classic filter coffee and flat white, to alternative options in order to cater for their emerging young consumers and have branched out into drinks such as hot chocolates, the ‘babyccino’ (frothed milk with chocolate) and a flurry of decaffeinated options such as iced teas.  The introduction and subsequent popularity of decaffeinated beverages proves that people don’t just flock to coffee shops for a caffeine hit. 

The scope for choosing a franchise is huge, therefore research into the sector is essential and there are many factors to consider before you decide on which one is best for you.  According to Mangobean ‘there has never been a greater time to start a franchise’ and this is reflected in the decade of rapid growth coffee franchises have seen.  If you are considering a coffee franchise there are many franchise types to choose from depending on your preferences, ranging from coffee bikes and vans to retail vending and of course shops.  Mobile coffee options such as vans and bikes are becoming increasingly popular as the thirst for coffee in more remote locations still exists.  These options also consist of considerably lower start-up costs than shops and are perfect for those with a more modest investment. 

With a franchise you can with confidence independently grow your business to its fullest potential with the full backing of your franchisor.  The kind of support you can expect is far ranging and consists of but is not limited to financial, on-going site development, training, recruitment and advertising.  As well as this support another huge advantage of investing into a franchise (as opposed to starting up on your own) are the lower start-up costs.  This is owing to the fact that you are buying into an already established brand with the added bonus of access to national advertising campaigns and of course the continued patronage of its existing customers.  Coffee shops are a home from home with many of the same creature comforts and their popularity does not show any sign of waning.  Modern consumers expect new and interesting coffee blends and syrups and associating yourself with a well-known chain and their connections means that you have easy access to new and exciting trends and technologies. 

Coffees huge popularity and success as a market leader is, for many would be franchisees, an excellent reason to begin the search for the perfect coffee franchise.  This, coupled with the added security of belonging to a larger company and the vast amount of support offered to its franchisees makes the coffee industry a perfect investment. 

The future of coffee also looks bright as by 2020 it is estimated that coffee is set to bring 15billion into the UK economy by 2020.  Coffee outlets are therefore also set to increase, creating well over 30,000 by 2025.  This estimated growth alongside the proven and continued success of the many existing franchises available today is all testament to the variety of business models offered in the 2017 coffee franchise market.

Wednesday, 31st May, 2017
MVH Media
Food Franchise