Contact us | Membership Enquiries 0800 028 0245 | Search

Trends brewing in the indie cafe culture in 2020

The way customers are engaging with coffee shops is changing, they’re looking at more than cost and convenience. They’re looking at your brand, if your ethos aligns with theirs, from the products you choose to stock to the look and feel of your shop. And they’re looking to find out about it online.

Using social media analytics, we’ve discovered the most engaging messages and content resonating with patrons of the UK’s burgeoning independent cafe culture scene. From dog-friendly to eco-friendly; gluten-free to wifi that’s free there’s plenty you can be shouting about online.



Whether it’s catering to those looking for food free from gluten or added sugar, or for those trying their taste buds at a vegan or plant-based diet, the free-from trend is going nowhere. Offering options for health-conscious and alternative palettes fairs well for indie cafes, as does utilising hashtags like #vegan, #glutenfree, #sugaryfree to get your products in front of the right customers.


 Sustainably sourced

Indie coffee shops are well placed to capitalise on the sustainably-sourced trend as customers increasingly desire more visibility on where the food and drink they’re consuming comes from. Don’t be afraid to share your source and their brand if their ethos aligns with yours. If you source locally, this can help build relationships and loyalty with your customers, so shout about it. It will give your followers a great sense of community and it’s great for the environment. Pair this message with reusable coffee cups, plastic-free options and recycling initiatives and ensure this shines through in your online content strategy.


Co-working and connection

Providing space for those working out of the office, or those fortunate to have a flexible working pattern is part of the ever-growing function of the UK’s local coffee shops and cafes. Tapping into serving the needs of these customers means establishments are increasingly communicating the availability of free wifi and use of the space as forums for entrepreneurship and connection.

Create a welcoming space in your shop for working individuals and let your community know they can stay as long as they need via social media and your website. This could lead to vital long-standing customers and new customers that have been recommended by friends and family. Connecting to your customers on social media and sharing their posts about working from your shop is a great way to let your wider audience know about this benefit.


Creative pursuits

Get creative with your coffee. Working with local talent to provide everything from entertainment to the adornment on your walls, lends independent cafes further individuality and community engagement. And at the same supports local artists in growing their own success from their creative endeavours. It provides something to post about online and an ice-breaker to get chatting to customers in your shop.


In summary – get the perfect blend

Communicate what makes you unique, from where you source your coffee and how you brew it, to what food you serve and the ingredients in them. Reach out to your local community via social media to show them the personality behind the brand. Demonstrate your investment in the local community and its growth to add further (sugar-free) icing on your cake.



Maybe* provides insight to support independent and small businesses create social media strategies and their social media engagement. Click here to find out more about how Maybe* can help your business and how to benefit from Bira membership.