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The news that Cadbury is to open café style shops in the UK is further evidence of the strength of the food-to-go market.
Reports suggest that the plans were already advanced before Kenco owner Kraft Foods acquired the chocolate-making company. City analysts responded with scepticism, saying if it wanted to be in this market, it would be cheaper to buy an existing chain like Caffe Nero.
While 60 coffee shops are unlikely to make a major change in the way that Cadbury supports local shops, on the surface it is likely to be a distraction. Valuable management time will be diverted away from worrying about the pricing of countlines and promoting treats in a way that does not upset the health lobbyists – though the confectioners have stated that the chain will be run under licence by a team run by former Harrods man David Morris.
For local retailers who are already selling hot drinks, the move by Cadbury could help to increase the innovation in the market, with new products to try out and new formats. Cadbury is likely to be closely studying shoppers in an effort to ensure that its cafés are innovative and not a novelty.
If there is a gap, you need to be watching to see what you can learn for your business. While we wait to see what the fuss is about, keep on innovating in your own shop.
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