Date: July 27, 2017
Created by: Dawood

Coffee Shop Trends: The Alternative Food Hype

Britain is currently seeing a gluten and dairy-free boom with specialist food sales on the rise thanks to awareness in health-conscious consumers. We consider how this trend is influencing our food and drink market and what you can do as a coffee shop owner to keep up with demands.

According to data from market analysts Kantar Worldpanel, sales in foods free-from gluten and dairy has risen to £800 million in Britain in the past year. This rise is partly due to younger shoppers buying these foods for perceived health benefits. More than three quarters of British shoppers have bought free-from foods in the past year with dairy products the biggest seller. An avoidance of cow’s milk has particularly become popular among the younger generation. With influences from advocates such as ‘Deliciously Ella’ and ‘Hemsley & Hemsley’, swapping basic foods for ‘clean’ alternatives has come to be seen as cool and trendy.

As the development of allergen-free foods gets easier, we are seeing more variety and better quality alternatives. Supermarkets are increasingly coming up with new ways to stay competitive within this market by introducing their own ‘free-from’ brands. As a coffee shop owner, it’s equally important to introduce alternative food options to offer choice and understanding to customers.

So why are we turning to alternative foods?

For reasons such as lactose intolerance, allergies, veganism and environmental concerns, Sales have risen by a massive 40% in the past three years. This dramatic growth could be down to a growing awareness of the health benefits of foods as well as the environmental impact of food production. More than ever people want to know, what’s in their food, where it comes from and the details about how it’s made.

What can you do as a coffee shop owner?

Fundamentally, it’s just about giving customers what they want, when they want it. In the continually growing coffee shop market, it’s important to provide customers with options. Understand customer’s needs by getting to know emerging trends in products and services and stay competitive in the market. By catering for all, you will be seen as a progressive, welcoming establishment who can accommodate for everyone.

By Charlotte Anderson

For further advice on your coffee shop or restaurant design, contact Catersales at or call 020 8684 6500