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There's plenty to enjoy in this new issue... not least three previews of key events for the sector. Café Business Expo, lunch! and Caffè Culture promise plenty of networking opportunities, product launches and expert speaker programmes.

The world of packaging and waste is difficult to navigate for the café & coffee shop sector, buthopefully our six-page special can provide valuable insight. We also speak exclusively to a healthy cookie brand, assess key trends around hot food, and begin our comprehensive preview coverage of lunch! and Caffè Culture. Plus, the usual regulars: News and Specials Board.

This issue, our new editor Alex Bell takes the reins and it's a bumper read with a refreshed look and feel to the pages. It's packed with exclusive interviews, thought leadership articles, news, reviews and so much more. 

In this issue we consider breakfast, tea and coffee machines, and look ahead to the popular London Coffee Festival that’s set to return this month, with the Glasgow Coffee Festival set to follow in May.

Going by our news pages and ice cream show review, ice cream and desserts would seem to offer particular potential for operators as we approach the warmer months.

As we embark upon 2023, there are some positive signs of growth and development in the café and coffee shop sector in the form of investment and store openings. 

In this issue, we look at milk, the advance of vegetarian options, as well as ice cream – it never being too early in the year to consider trends in that café favourite – and draw your attention to some food sector shows that will be taking place at the same time, and all under one roof. 

Although there’s no let-up in the tough economic climate, it’s the time of year when people indulge themselves and nowhere more so when it comes to a festive beverage at their local coffee shop (turn to page 22 for some recipe ideas). We also look ahead to Veganuary, but in the meantime wish all our readers, subscribers and advertisers a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

It’s clear that café and coffee shop customers are developing a more demanding palate for speciality coffee in terms of its origin and roast - even more so in these cost-conscious times when they are on the look-out for value for money as well as great taste.

In this issue, we offer some advice on how to navigate the tough financial conditions, as well as some food to-go menu ideas and opinions on design and fit-out options.

In this issue, with autumn around the corner we turn our attention to hot food, take a look at sustainable packaging and some developments in biscuits. We also look forward to two very popular café sector-related trade shows – Caffè Culture (1-2 September 2022, Business Design Centre, London) and lunch! (14-15 September 2022, ExCel London), which will see the launch of our latest How to start and run a café bar guide.


From the retailing of cakes to combating food price inflation, and making sure your coffee is up to scratch, there’s plenty of informed advice on offer in this issue, as well as awareness of some of the trends and changing consumer demands that are now coming to the fore in the café and coffee shop world.


In this issue, we offer some advice on coffee machines and take a look at how our breakfast eating habits have changed in recent times, and the UK Tea Academy’s Jane Pettigrew ‘talks tea’.

There’s a preview of the ever-popular London Coffee Festival, and we learn more about the National Cup Recycling Scheme.

The resilience and flexibility of the café and coffee shop sector has seen it through some tough times in recent months, with yet more challenges on the horizon but the hope that a corner has now been turned. This issue considers ice cream, plant-based milks and suggestions for creating some appealing free-from menu options. We can also report that the popular Café Life Association networking lunch is making plans to return in July.

With ongoing staffing and supply chain challenges, the close of the year is proving to be a difficult time for many in the hospitality sector, and against a background of changing requirements from the government too.

With the café and coffee shop sector presented with a number of busy shows and events in September (lunch!, Casual Dining, Caffè Culture and the London Coffee Festival), it still remains to be seen how much the habits of customers themselves - more used to working from home than travelling to the offi ce these days - have changed for good.

This issue looks ahead to three much-awaited events taking place next month – Cafè Culture, the lunch! show (co-located with Casual Dining and Commercial Kitchen) and the London Coffee Festival.
Our features consider autumn eating, the drive to be more aware of the packaging food and beverage operators use and its recyclability, and biscuits. Opinions are shared on coffee supply and roasting, as well as the increasing appeal of outdoor seating.

This month should see the total relaxation of many of the limitations and restrictions affecting hospitality businesses, and with summer looming, and the UK population likely to still be holidaying at home, operators in the café and coffee shop sector will be keen to make up for lost time. In this issue, we highlight some pieces of catering equipment of particular interest to operators and consider two other café essentials - cold drinks and cakes.

Many cafés and coffee shops will be re-opening in a limited fashion this month with a focus on their outside seating areas, and in this issue, we focus on the importance of coffee machines and having a good breakfast and tea offering. In addition, Lincoln and York’s CEO, James Sweeting, shares his views on the past year, the company having also commissioned a new packaging line.

As the café and coffee shop sector, and hospitality in general, awaits to hear from the government about plans for re-opening, the focus is on how operators can best prepare to resume trading in a profitable manner, with the emphasis likely to remain on to go and delivered options. In this issue, we consider the likely trends and developments and canvas some advice and ideas.

As local, and national, lockdowns get deployed, the festive season looks set to be a very challenging time indeed if operators are to play ‘catch up’ with trade lost earlier in the year. As café and coffee shops businesses seek to adapt to and make the most of, the new business landscape, there is now an established move towards online ordering, as well as a desire on the part of consumers to the recreate their traditionally out of home coffee break experience at home.

The sector’s restart remains tentative for many independent operators, whereas the chains have made significant progress, although financial streamlining in the form of reduced hours, job cuts and closures is also inevitably taking place. In this issue, we report on some food to go treats and drinks trends, as well as some store design pointers which take into account the effects of Covid.

Early July saw the welcome permission to ‘restart’ the hospitality sector in the wake of Covid-19, including sit-in as long as there’s ‘Covid-secure’ provision. However, great uncertainty hangs over the economy as well as consumer behaviour; home having become the new, and potentially permanent, office for many. How all this combines to affect the role of the UK’s much-loved café and coffee shop sector remains to be seen.

Some of the well-resourced, high street food brands have started to re-open some of their stores, or have announced plans to, in takeaway and delivery formats, whereas lockdown ‘exit day’ for smaller, independent operators in the café and coffee shop sector is uncertain. 

Inside This Issue 

This month sees the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show taking place in Harrogate, with the London Coffee Festival – celebrating 10 years - soon to follow in early April.

Our food-focused features confirm just how important a café or coffee shop’s food offering has become these days - not least when it comes to the demand for vegan and vegetarian options.

Inside This Issue 

As we approach the end end of 2019, guest editor Simon Ambrose looks at training with Starbucks; profiles Edinburgh's growing bakery and coffee shop brand Twelve Triangles as well as focusing on Lincoln & York's mission to revolutionise the coffee industry in the UK.

Inside This Issue 

A busy time is coming up with the popular lunch! show, Caffè Culture and Food Matters Life all set to offer café and coffee shop sector visitors plenty of ideas for their food and beverage menus.

Our features cover soft drinks and the burgeoning grab and go sector, and Adrian Kilby, founder and creative director of the Formation Creative Consultants, shares with us some of his design and branding thinking.

Inside This Issue 

With breakfast increasingly becoming an all-day affair, we take an indulgent look at what cafés and coffee shops can offer their customers. Our features also include tea and ‘free-from’ café fayre, and there’s some advice from Paddy & Scott’s Scott Russell on boosting coffee sales.

Looking ahead to September, we preview this year’s Speciality and Fine Food Show – a source of ideas for many in the café and coffee shop sector – and our advisory articles cover staff management over the summer months, as well as allergen labelling.

Inside This Issue 

If you’re seeking to enhance the sustainability of your café or coffee shop, then this issue contains plenty of advice and suggestions from some of the sector’s suppliers. We also indulge in cakes and take a look at some coffee machines

Inside This Issue 

In this issue, we preview the second edition of the European Coffee Tea & Soft Drinks Expo (21-22 May 2019, Olympia, London), which as its new name suggests, has  broadened out to showcase more beverages.

Our features include some coffee talk, ice cream and milk alternatives, and with Caffè Nero’s recent acquisition of Coffee#1, ongoing developments at Patisserie Valerie, and Grind furthering its future expansion plans via crowdfunding, the café and coffee shop sector is certainly at the centre of plenty of business activity right now.

Inside This Issue 

If you didn’t already know it by now, plant-based eating is set to be a major trend for this year, with kombucha tea also making its presence felt. Our features also cover the important aspect of water treatment.

Looking ahead, we preview IFE and the London Coffee Festival, and after a recent producer showcase and cupping event, highlight the Central American coffee-growing country of El Salvador.

Inside This Issue

In this issue, we look at some café cocktail culture ideas, the influence of the street food scene and the cold brew trend. In the run-up to the festive season, we also offer some ‘maximising margins’ advice.

Inside This Issue

In this issue, we indulge in what for many is the main reason they visit a café or coffee shop in the first place – namely, its ice cream, sweet treats and desserts menu. We also consider the changing nature of snacks.

Inside This Issue

There’s a free from and ‘alternative’ theme to this issue, with our features covering the importance of offering food that increasingly reflects the changing dietary requirements of consumers (namely, the demand for milk alternatives and other ‘free from’ foods such as vegan and gluten-free options).

Inside This Issue

In this issue, we preview this month’s very popular London Coffee Festival and our features showcase some espresso machines, as well as what coffee pods and capsules can offer. We also highlight how creative the tea sector is becoming.

Inside This Issue

The implications of a proposed ‘latte levy’, as well as what’s already being done by various innovative packaging companies is discussed in this issue. GDPR and the ‘sugar tax’ are also covered.

With Fairtrade Fortnight coming up in March, our features include a look at the importance of fair trade. We also highlight the ever-increasing sophistication of bean to cup machines, and profile several distinctive businesses.

Inside This Issue

With the festive season drawing close, we take our customary look at some special food and beverages to enable outlets to capitalise on this lucrative time of year. Cakes and bakes, and the all-year popularity of ice cream also feature.

We would also like to offer our congratulations to all those who triumphed in this year’s Café Life Awards. Our thanks go to all the judges and sponsors too, who in turn helped to make the awards night dinner held at the Grange City Hotel in London a great success. We look forward to hearing your news and views, and reporting on events in 2018!

Inside This Issue

The highly popular lunch! show (21-22 September 2017, ExCel, London) is celebrating ten years, and the newly re-launched Café Life Society will also be hosting the finals of its live challenges at this event.

Inside This Issue

Summer is upon us, with cold drinks such as healthy juices and smoothies in demand, and also the focus of one of our features. Entries are coming in thick and fast for this year’s Café Life Awards – turn to page 16 to find out.

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Call Ethan Leaning on 01291 636333