Richard Cope
Richard is a Senior Trends Consultant, bringing the latest consumer trends to Mintel clients through bespoke presentations and represents Mintel at global conferences.
Mintel is proud and boastful of our 80-plus trends, our team of trend spotters across 20 countries and the 70 odd amazing stories they bring to us every week. But trends don’t just play out on the page, steam on our screens, or come out of our analyst’s mouths. In fact – something we trade in at Mintel – Trends are happening right now in our streets, as insights and dreams turned in to real bricks-and-mortar businesses by brave pioneers and entrepreneurs.
In this new 5-part series, we bring you the very best of trends-in-action from all corners of London. We look into how each business is targeting wider trends and the social, demographic and cultural drivers behind it… Enjoy! 

Lady Dinah’s Car Emporium

LadyD-3Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium café in the UK allows anyone to be a cat lady (or gentleman) for an afternoon.

A café that allows you to sip tea and taste pastries while spending time with rescued cats (each of which has their own Twitter feed) fits in part with the creed of the Mintel Trend Creature Comfort, where we pose the question: are animals the new children? In a developed world of low fertility rates and growing pet ownership, the answer is undoubtedly ‘yes’, and as cats and dogs begin to outnumber children in households across the globe, we have resolved to make ‘pets’ an official demographic, alongside ‘Millennials’ and the like.

The UK is no different, as Mintel’s Pet Insurance UK 2013 report shows – 62% of internet users aged 18+ live in a household with at least one pet. As the nuclear family disappears, brands must cater to a new breed of pet-owner-as-parent, ushering in an era of fine dining restaurants that offer pet menus and scented, low level billboards targeting pets.

However the cat café performs something of a different role, by offering companionship and soothing interaction for those people not able to own their own pets for a multitude of reasons – allergies, landlords or space. The latter cause yields the origins of this phenomenon, as it grew out of the time and space pressures of high density, often multi-generational, urban living in Asia, and in particular the bang (room culture of Seoul).

LadyD-2As such we covered this in our Mintel Trend East Meets West and confidently predicted to those laughing naysayers that as the UK household scene polarised between multi-generational and single households, cat cafes would come to our shores. The only people laughing now are the happy proprietors and guests of Lady Dinah’s.

As our Trend The Power of One states, the number of one-person households in the UK will rise from 6.8 million in 2006 to 10.9 million in 2031 (Source: ONS) and as a result the practical and therapeutic role of animal companionship will become better appreciated and more available commercially too. As this evolves, watch out for a Tokyo style ‘Bunny Café’ opening in a British city near you soon.

To find out more about Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, click here.

With over a decade of experience in market research, Richard works as a Trends Analyst, helping clients understand how global consumer trends impact their business. As a globally recognised leading trends commentator, he is regularly called on by media worldwide to provide insight and analysis into consumer trends, with recent highlights including the Guardian and BBC Radio 2.