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UK-based Kiss the Hippo opens fifth London outlet

Kiss the Hippo is the latest specialty coffee roaster to expand its retail presence across the UK capital, with Ozone Coffee Roasters, Grind and WatchHouse also opening new stores within the last two months

Kiss the Hippo promotes itself as London’s first carbon negative coffee company | Photo credit: Kiss the Hippo

London-based Kiss the Hippo has opened its fifth specialty coffee shop in the UK capital.

Founded as a roastery in 2018, Kiss the Hippo’s latest café is its second in London’s Fitzrovia district, and joins outlets in Richmond, Kings Cross and Shoreditch.

Kiss the Hippo, which promotes itself as London’s first carbon negative coffee company, also operates a coffee at-home subscription service and sells retail packaged coffee in its stores alongside espresso machines, grinders and brewing equipment.

Rising inflation, supply chain disruption and recruitment challenges pose significant headwinds for UK hospitality businesses. However, the UK branded coffee shop market has proven resilient, achieving 12% sales growth to £4.9bn ($6.2bn) and outlet growth of 4% to reach 9,885 stores in the 12-months ended January 2023.

Kiss the Hippo is the latest UK-based specialty coffee roaster to expand its retail presence this year.

In April 2023 Ozone Coffee Roasters opened two new locations in London, having acquired Association Coffee in November 2022, while the following month London-based Grind opened its 12th site in the capital at St Pancras Rail Station.

WatchHouse took its store footprint to 11 with a new Marylebone outlet in May 2023 and is set to open another London site in Covent Garden this quarter.

The specialty coffee group will also open a store in Bath before the end of 2023 – its first outlet outside of London – while Origin Coffee will add to its five sites across London and Cornwall with an outlet in Bristol in August 2023.

World Coffee Portal research found that 40% of UK consumers surveyed consider specialty coffee as important for a high-quality coffee shop, rising to 47% for those aged under 35.

The total branded UK coffee shop market is forecast to exceed 10,200 outlets next year and surpass 11,600 outlets by January 2028.

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