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Café trends of 2020; Our predictions

January 1, 2020

Cafe trends 2020

With the rise of café culture sweeping across the UK we’ve seen café owners capitalising on rising trends from cat cafés to healthy options. 

2020 is going to be another exciting year for the growing café industry.  

Creating your own café identity by setting yourselves apart from others and being one step ahead is key to success. 

So, what are the top café trends for 2020?

1. Plant-based diet

Whilst a plant-based diet isn’t particularly a trend, the rise of people becoming more aware of the environmental and human costs of producing meat are staggeringly increasing. 

As more people turn to a plant-based diet, cafés and eateries will need to adapt their menus to suit this new, increasing demand. 

If you’ve watched the Game Changers documentary on Netflix, you’ll know how mainstream the plant-based diet is becoming and why people are making the shift.

2. Sustainability focused

Sustainability is increasingly important for all businesses however, the food industry is particularly under the spotlight. We have already seen some measures put in place by reducing waste, reusable cups and adopting plastic-free packaging products. 

In 2020 it’s likely we’ll see even more innovative ideas to reduce our carbon footprint. Initial concepts have included up-cycling furniture and a particular focus to extend the mission to incorporate and support the local community, from employment to food waste donations.

3. Fruit juices (beyond your typical fruits)

Alongside healthier food options, consumers are choosing healthier drink alternatives, including juices, shakes and smoothies.

And we predict this adoption to be broader than the typical UK fruits. Unusual fruits, or those that are rich in vitamins and goodness, can be easily mixed within other fruits to offer a tasty and nutritious treat.

Cafe trends fruit juices

4. Dairy-free (almond milk, soya milk, oat milk)

This increase of awareness and concern of the environment and our own health is seeking consumers to also consider alternatives to cow's milk, reducing the amount of dairy products they consume. 

Alternatives including soya milk, almond milk and oat milk are likely to increase in popularity over the coming year.

5. Instagrammable cafés 

Social media shows no signs of slowing down, in fact our need to photograph our food, drink and location continues to benefit cafes across the UK. 

Whether it’s the furniture, a colourful meal option or the toilets, people are likely to be enticed to visit after seeing popular posts on social media.

6. Worldwide cuisine 

And, with the entire population having access to social media channels we are fortunate to see and educate ourselves on the wide range of cuisines across the world. 

As we continue to learn and become curious; cafés offering a different choice of cuisines and cultural experiences will gather pace.  

This even includes the new “superfood” on the block, Cricket Powder. It’s great for your body and great for the environment! Who could resist!

cricket powder

7. Gaming cafés 

The UK gaming industry has witnessed another impressive year in 2019, and is predicted to be the start of this popular sport. Bringing like-minded gamers who want to play their favourite titles amongst friends, amateurs and competition, could be an exciting new concept for the café industry. 

There’s already been bars and cafés adopt a gaming scenario with shuffle boards and traditional board games brought back to encourage customer interaction.

Gaming cafes

8. Yoga café

In contrast to the fun activities mentioned above, is a development of inner peace and tranquility. To escape the hustle and bustle, and fast-paced environment we currently live in, to relax and unwind in a café. 

Maximising space to offer yoga classes before or after a healthy meal.

Yoga cafes

9. Boozy café

Ok, so boozy cafés isn’t particularly new. There’s a number of cafes across the UK that serve and include alcoholic options. But with many cafes extending their opening hours and menu range, to offer much more than a coffee and a bacon butty, boozy cafes can come in many different forms. 

And with the rise of bottomless brunches and cocktails, it's no wonder cafés are branching out and considering a wider day dining approach.

10. Coffee, coffee and more coffee

The UK’s need for a morning caffeine fix is not going anywhere anytime soon. Luckily, consumers have a breadth of choices they can enjoy drinking, whether that’s hot or cold. 

As consumers tastes and demands continue to evolve, we're likely to see new dynamic growth and innovative ways to craft a good cup of coffee (and tea).

Find a cafe for sale
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Thinking of selling a café?

If you know it’s time to hang up your apron and find a new owner, then you’re in the right place. With café culture on the up in the UK, it’s the perfect time to sell and make sure you get a good price for your business.

Interested in buying a café? Then get in touch with one of our Sales Negotiators and let us realise your dream of buying your own business.

We respect your privacy and will never share your information. By completing this form you are consenting to Hilton Smythe to store your information for processing this enquiry and sharing information with our group of companies and partners in relation to this enquiry.

FOR SALE: Café Valente, County Durham


Tony Valente Cafe Valente

£49,950 +SAV

Ref: 14024 A


Hilton Smythe are delighted to bring to the market Café Valente, an extremely well presented, profitable café, situated in a great trading location. Established in the early 70’s our client took over in 2006 and is now looking to retire. 

Find out more about buying a café with Hilton Smythe

Café culture is dominating the food and drink market in Britain. The number of coffee shops in the UK is rising, as speciality coffees from around the world become a serious hit with Brits. We’re becoming a nation of coffee connoisseurs, over 81% of people now visit a coffee shop on a weekly basis.

Find a cafe for sale

Running a café – the views of an owner

It all started when my wife and her friend had been out for the day shopping in Leeds and they went to enjoy a cup of coffee at O’Briens café. They were really impressed with the products and high quality of the service provided.  So we started to look into the idea of owning our own café.

What's it like to run a cafe
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