No sooner had the Cereal Killer Cafe (a cafe selling bowls of over 100 different types of breakfast cereals, and brainchild of two brothers from Northern Ireland), opened for business in London in late 2014, January 2015 saw the opening of the World’s first Crisp Sandwich café, Simply Crispy, in Belfast.

Starting out as an idea and bit of fun on a satire website, the idea behind Simply Crispy quickly gained momentum, with the cafe opening its doors to the public in just one week. Consumers can choose from over 20 different varieties of crisps (many of which are local brands), sandwiched between a ‘Belfast Bap’ or two rounds of famous local bread brands, soup with crisp croutons, and fries flavoured after a favourite cheesy crisp snack. Such was the opening day success that it sold out of stock within two hours.

The market for crisps, nuts and corn snacks is forecast to reach €510 million in 2015, with potato crisps the standout sector

Are these cafes simply a gimmick, destined to disappear after a period of initial hype, or are they on to something? Both the Cereal Killer Café and Simply Crispy are tapping into large markets and should be in a strong position to capitalise on consumers love for these treats. Mintel Ireland forecasts that the Irish market for breakfast cereals will approach €300 million in 2015, with the market for crisps, nuts and corn snacks is forecast to reach €510 million in 2015, with potato crisps the standout sector, worth some €224.5 million.

Whether these cafes are no more than flash-in-the-pans, or are actually representative of more general trends whereby consumers are craving some guilty pleasures, and simple comforting retro treats from their childhood, their operators will no doubt make a packet!

For more information see Mintel’s recently published reports: Crisps, Nuts and Corn Snacks – Ireland, 2014 and Cereal Bars and Breakfast Biscuits – Ireland, 2014.

David joined Mintel in September 2014 as a Research Analyst with responsibility for technology and tourism reports. Prior to joining Mintel, David was employed as a researcher in both the academic and commercial sectors conducting market research and industry and competitive analysis.

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