UK’s Independent Cafés segment grows despite trade challenges

An Allegra World Coffee Portal research has revealed the United Kingdom’s (UK) independent café market has grown over the last 12 months but remains vulnerable to trading conditions.

The study shows the segment – worth about £2.49 billion (about US$3.2 billion) – grew 0.6 per cent to an estimated 7066 outlets, down from 4 per cent the previous year.

World Coffee Portal attributes the slowed growth to a number of reasons, including a tougher economic climate where consumers are more price-conscious, Brexit’s impact on casual European workers, and natural events such as coronavirus outbreak.

During the same timeframe, sales growth increased 1.4 per cent with average spend in-store rising £3.77 to £6.27 (about US$4.86 to US$8.08).

“Despite tough times for UK hospitality, independent coffee shops will remain a source of inspiration and innovation for the wider UK café market for many years to come,” World Coffee Portal says in a public statement.

World Coffee Portal has predicted the segment to experience compound annual growth rate of 1.3 per cent until 2024, increasing the number of independent cafés to 7500 outlets.

More than 50 independent coffee shop owners and 2000 consumers were surveyed for the study.

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