Until recently the UK had a thriving coffee shop culture, with most high streets offering a range of different independent and chain coffee shop outlets. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold, fewer people were leaving home until the country was placed in lockdown and travel was only possibly for a much smaller number of people. The high street coffee shop culture that was present in so many towns and cities across the country completely changed. Many coffee shops, including the large chains closed, while some tried to implement new takeaway only models. As the lockdown restrictions begin to be relaxed, there are signs that some coffee shops are working on ways to reopen.
With the closure of most coffee shops, many people have been spending weeks and months at home, and have had to prepare their own coffee. There have been reports on the BBC that many coffee roasters were seeing rising online sales as people tried to ensure they had the coffee experience they were used to out of the house. For some people this has meant investing in equipment for making coffee, and finding out about new coffee roasters, or brewing methods. For others there may have been just a change in the amount of coffee consumed, but not necessarily the type of coffee, or how it was prepared.
At Coventry University we’re beginning a new research project which explores consumption behaviours during the COVID-19 lockdown to try and understand how people may have altered their coffee consumption habits, and perhaps more importantly about their consumption intentions for the future.
One of my earlier research projects on coffee shops highlighted their role in as ‘spaces of community’, places that brought people together whether that was for the coffee, the space, the food, or the people in them. In the face of ongoing measures to ensure social distancing there are implications for the roles that coffee shops can play. Changing coffee consumption patterns are just one element of this, and acts as a starting point for a broader research agenda around the role and future of coffee shops.
We have created a short survey which aims to capture information about if, and how people have changed their coffee consumption habits during the lockdown restrictions due to COVID-10, and how these might change in the future when restrictions are eased. Please consider taking a few minutes to complete the survey here: Coffee consumption and the impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
Note: While we are exploring the situation in the UK, we are interested in experiences from elsewhere around the world too, and recognise there have been a range of COVID-19 restriction. There is a question at the end of the survey to identify which country you are from.