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Coffee House Culture & The Handmade Industry
Author: Sarah Orlandi
Friday, February 13, 2015

Whether it’s a local mom-and-pop or an established national brand such as Starbucks, the coffee shop industry is getting increasingly popular. The general public has favorite specialty coffee brands and beverages. This coffee house culture is influencing trends throughout external markets including the handmade soap and cosmetic industry. Many handmade artisans seem to be in tune with trends that are popularized by the coffee house atmosphere. This niche market has a growing demand for coffee house inspired products.

According to the National Coffee Association, there are 183 million coffee drinkers in the United States. 40% of consumers 18 years of age or older said that they enjoyed at least one cup of coffee on a daily basis. Hobbyists and artisan crafters have a growing opportunity to reach this young demographic with trendy handmade products that are inspired by popular cafe treats.  Customers between the ages of 25 and 39 make up over 50% of the coffee house market.  Coincidentally, these demographics are also largely attracted to handmade and natural soap and bath and body products, especially women aged over 25 years old.

Coffee shops provide a calm environment that encourages relaxation. Many use these as a meeting place to enjoy the company of friends or business partners for a brief meeting. They create a pleasant work atmosphere by providing comfortable seating, free electricity connections and free Wi-Fi. Find inspiration in coffee house interior design trends. Natural wood textures combined with industrial metals and exposed brick evoke a trendy manufactured look. When brainstorming ways to decorate your storefront or traveling booth for craft shows and farmer’s markets consider integrating these rustic influences into the décor to evoke a relaxed coffee house atmosphere.

The trending use of “green materials” has been widely supported by the coffee house culture. Environmentally friendly materials are popular and trending. Kraft paper bags, paper cups and cardboard cup holders are used by many large national coffee house brands. To spice-up the packaging of your own handmade product line take a lesson from the coffee shop industry. Try branding your product line with simple retro-inspired designs and the bold logos to clearly state the name of your company. Picking up on these coffee house trends will be aesthetically pleasing for your line as well as making your products and branding memorable to the customer. 

Coffee and mocha scented products are extremely well received in the handmade product industry. Products such as candles, lotions, soaps and air fresheners can be customized to smell like your buyer’s favorite coffee beverage. Many of your customers are likely familiar with specialty cafe beverages; consider scenting your products to match. Consider the example of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, or ‘PSL’ as it has widely become known. The fragrance of pumpkin and spice was extremely popular in autumn product lines in 2014. You can find variations of this particular fragrance imitated in popular retail stores even now, early in winter of 2015.

Find inspiration from your favorite local coffee shop. Try using re-purposed items with your shop and booth décor, as well as making your packaging eco-friendly.  Be inspired by retro-inspired branding to keep things visually interesting. Coffee lovers are on the rise and with inspiration from this popular trend you can put your own twist on the old ‘cup o’ joe’. 





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