Strong demand to consume what is organic and British, together with the rising popularity of pop-up businesses, has led to a surge in entrepreneurs starting food or drinks business in the UK.
It’s forecasted that almost a third of new businesses launched in the UK over the next two years will be pop-up restaurants, a recent study by telecoms company EE claims. The implication across the UK would mean that 11.6 million entrepreneurs would create an impressive 3.4 million pop-up restaurants by 2017. A further 18% more will offer drinks such as cocktails or coffee.
That means almost half of the forecasted new businesses will be food and drink related, perhaps reflecting the increased consumer demand for quality food and a shift in consumer behaviour of eating out more frequently, which is now worth almost £50 billion to the UK economy in terms of wages and profits.
Whilst food and drinks businesses are statistically high risk, starting a pop-up in a short-let premise or via a food truck, allows entrepreneurs to test their concept on a small scale and with reduced early stage setup costs. This provides a flexible option for the business to test their product on their prospective customer, and in doing so achieve honest consumer feedback before taking the business to the next stage.
Innocent Drinks, for example, launched their smoothie company at a music festival where customers were asked to throw their empty drinks bottles into bins marked Yes or No, based on whether they thought the founders should quit their jobs and launch the business.
The UK in particular is a sensational environment for exciting businesses to test their concept at festivals, urban street feasts and glorious summer parties. There’s a constant demand for a pop-up serving gourmet food, from ice cream to popcorn, and cider to flavoured water. Nowhere else in the world has quite the same buzz. There’s an exciting future for the food and drink industry and we’ve seen passionate entrepreneurs backed by inspired investors on the Seedrs platform. Matching like-minded people in what can be highly emotionally driven businesses.