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The Pandemic influence on coffee

As the days shorten, it is hard to avoid the sense that our pandemic world is about to change what we can all do once again. Our homes will again be repurposed as offices, classrooms or gyms and yes might just become a little squarer as we peer into those screens a little longer.

Renewed encouragement to work from home implies continuing pressure for urban retailers in almost every sector. If it is a challenge in urban working environments, what is happening outside the bigger cities?

Local green shoots

According to CGA, while 67% of consumers are reluctant to visit towns and city centres, 52% report an increased desire to support local outlets. And 23% actively want to support the hospitality industry (1), which is a heartening start.

Wider hospitality industry data also suggest that - while overall rate of sale (or “velocity”) is running 12% lower than a year ago - rates of sale in rural establishments are in fact higher than a year ago, while the slowdown in suburbia is a fraction of what it is in city centres (2).

Local establishments are well-placed to capitalise on these “pandemic” trends – and even more so as restrictions increase again.

Your coffee ritual?

While we love London for inspiration and excitement, it is worth remembering that a mighty 6,027 coffee outlets – or 73% of all those in the UK – are located across the rest of the UK (3). 

With only 13% of consumers saying that they have recreated their morning coffee ritual at home during lockdown (4), local coffee venues could be the ideal balm for harried home-workers in search of a safe, socially distanced break. Struggle to make the perfect Latte at home (consistently the most popular coffee shop choice)? Let your barista cheer you up with a perfect, calming drink (at an average of £2.76 per cup (5), it is also one of the more affordable treats we can enjoy). And, while we’re on a rollercoaster of pandemic emotions, there’s more than the latte to help us along: cold brew to calm jangling nerves or syrup and espresso to power us up, it’s really in the local coffee shop where the buzz will be this winter.

So, here’s to our local coffee shops: a bit of quality coffee and quality ‘me time’ to help us all through!

Sources of data

1 CGA Business Confidence Q2 2020

2 Nielsen CGA Restaurant Trak On-Trade Weekly Sales Tracker Report

3 Allegra World Coffee Portal, Project Café UK 2019

4 Kantar Link Q Survey, May 2020

5 Allegra World Coffee Portal, Project Café UK 2019