According to recent research from the Australian National Association of Retailers (ANRA), the food industry’s performance has continually beat that of non-food. The latest figures reveal encouraging growth from the food sector, up 6.8 per cent in comparison to last April.

The CEO of ANRA, Margy Osmond, stated that this positive news reinforces the “reign” of the food sector when comparing economic output across all sectors.

Especially encouraging was growth in the food services subcategory of the industry, which saw a 0.5 per cent increase in growth from cafe, restaurant and takeaway providers. These figures were further supported by an encouraging discovery in the research, which on a state level identified Victoria as the “strongest performer” in Australia.

Victoria is continuing its trend-setting behaviour in on-the-ground activity too, as seen by the recent arrival of a cafe trend which began overseas. A Melbourne cafe is premiering the ‘cat cafe’ concept, which is well-known in Japan and has now spread across the globe, including to London and Paris – two major global financial centres. With an Australian cafe following the trend too, this may only serve to reinforce the state of Victoria, as well as the nation, as an economy which is on the up.

The concept has divided opinions, with some welcoming the novel way to interact with an animal without the commitment of a pet, while others may worry about service standards in such venues. The idea behind the cafe is that customers can spend time with the cats alongside their regular coffee order. Taking this into consideration, it’s important for cafes contemplating becoming part of this trend to ensure that hygiene standards in the kitchen and throughout the cafe are strongly upheld.

Coffee – a key component of the cafe sector – was forecast to be a strong commodity this year, which is also in line partially thanks to the rise of the emerging economies of Brazil and China.These markets are experiencing an increasing amount of coffee farmers and consumers, according to the International Business Times.

Whatever your viewpoint on the newest changes in cafe culture are, it clearly seems to follow a supply and demand process – even in an industry as competitive as food retailing in Australia.