Polish FMCG market – 2018’ summary

Thursday, 24 January, 2019 Food From Poland 34/2019
1.jpgLeszek Wąsowicz
President of the Board HELIO

This is already the 27th Christmas season in which our dried fruit bring joy to both consumers and retailers. Thanks to significant investments in promotion, the recognizability and sales of the HELIO brand have increased. The growth rate of product sales under our brands exceeded 35% y/y. Apart from investment in the brand, we have improved our production infrastructure. Modern technology as well as top production quality and safety standards account for our consistently built competitive advantage. It allows us to have one of the largest and most modern production plants in Europe today, and therefore, to be a reliable producer and a timely supplier of even the largest amounts. Unfortunately, beside favourable consumption trends, one should still take into account of crucial risks of the industry. Although the industry seems attractive and simple, I have already seen many business disappointments over the years. Therefore, it is worth betting on proven partners with a transparent financial situation and a stable ownership structure. We have huge experience, know-how, production infrastructure, investments in the HELIO brand are worth millions of zlotys, with a stable Polish strategic owner and management board since the very beginning of our operations as well. These are the advantages we have developed, putting us in the position of a market leader and a reliable business partner.

2.jpgTadeusz Czarniecki
Marketing Director

2018 has been a year of challenges for the FMCG market. Among the most important ones, affecting the entire trade and service market, I would mention, first of all, the Sunday trade limitation. Changes in the law have created a new consumer reality each sector had to handle in its own way. Another challenge was the long summer – lasting from April almost to October this year – and it is a well-known fact that high temperatures do not encourage reaching for chocolate products. Therefore, beverage or ice cream producers have surely enjoyed this year, but it became a serious trial to producers of chocolate products, hence it is so important that the offer of a prominent brand should also include something light, suitable for summer. We have handled this challenge with our new products. Jellies, such as SMOK, enabling Wawel to enter a new category, have become a distinct brand that quickly found consumers in a dynamic category. Looking more broadly, we have spent the passing year under the sign of continuation of the adopted strategy – we were consistently developing the “Dobre Składniki” (Good Ingredients) project, directing our actions to the young target group. Thanks to such activitis, we are increasingly closer to the consumers and their needs – in the literal sense as well, as 2018 also saw the great premiere of the Wawel Truck, an interactive truck constantly cruising across Poland. This gives us lots of experience and, most importantly, an opportunity of direct contact with a consumer.

3.jpgRobert Rudnicki
President of the Board
Pszczółka Candy Factory

Sweet snacks still have a raison d’être in the era of fitness and healthy lifestyle. It is only their consumption trends that have changed. The group of “smart customers” is growing. Not only the price itself but the quality of the offered products and the origin of ingredients have become deciding factors in shopping. Consumers want high-quality sweets in diverse tastes. 2018 saw popularity of products enriched with healthy ingredients, such as vitamins or minerals. The content of artificial colourings, preservatives and other kinds of additives was reduced. Growing consumer awareness forced producers to emphasize the composition of products. The so-called “clean label” became increasingly popular. The year of 2018 forced confectionery manufacturers to focus on innovative and functional products – specific values supporting our organism, from stress reduction through energizing to increasing libido. Foreign expansion has stimulated profits. With regard to confectionery exports, Poland occupies a high eighth position.

4.jpgMarek Moczulski
President of the Board

For the exports of BAKALLAND S.A., 2018 was unquestionably a period of further development, but also of new challenges affecting the FMCG market. The Company’s success unquestionably include entry to new, prospective markets, such as Vietnam, Saudi Arabia or Colombia, where the products of the Bakalland Group perfectly suit the health-improving and snack trend which has already become global. Yet this success was connected with investments that need to be borne by every production company developing exports of its products. We have already left this step behind, since 2018 saw us implementing new packages, e.g. of our BA! candy bar line, dedicated to export markets proven with regard to legislation and product registration. Due to such a significant change, we have opened doors to new outlets, growing at a two-digit pace and increasing our competitive advantage. We are becoming recognizable as a producer of top-quality snacks and an innovative leader, which results in the new products we introduce being received enthusiastically on every continent. We steadily reinforce our sale strengths, creating a motivated team of specialists dedicated to new markets, implementing our export development strategy. This advantage is also noticed by trade chains directing enquiries to us from different parts of the world, also entrusting us with the creation of private labels. Currently, we are going through a phase of implementing many new projects which will stimulate further exports of BAKALLAND S.A. outside Poland in 2019.

5.jpgBogdan Łukasik
President of the
Supervisory Board
Modern-Expo Group

The ending year 2018 turned out to be full of challenges for the representatives of the retail sector in Poland. The local factors overlapped with global social trends, such as the aging of the population, growing consumer expectations concerning the quickness and comfort of the purchasing process, as well as the transfer of many potential customers to the Internet. These changes forced a dynamic reaction in the industry. In a broader perspective, two formats have gained significance: convenience stores and proximity supermarkets. What do they have in common? Close location, proper assortment and well-designed product exhibition. Smart store equipment has gained on popularity. In the passing year, Modern-Expo has also introduced smart solutions into its portfolio. Implementing large projects with key customers, the company has reinforced its position as a market leader, simultaneously maintaining the previous growth rate. Modern-Expo experts presented the developed solutions and trends at the world’s most important conferences and fairs: in Dubai, Warsaw and Kiev. The manufacturer has also been granted a loan by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, enabling it to invest in the growing machinery and, consequently, to increase the production volume, also due to introduction of a new management system throughout the company, based on the Lean Management model. Moreover, the company has opened two new offices: in Warsaw and Bucharest.

6.jpgRobert Ogór
President of the Board AMBRA

This was a year of continuation of trends visible for several years. The quickest-developing categories and segments on the alcohol market are those of high value: wine, whisky, craft beer and other premium alcohols. Additionally, the beer sector and a range of other “refreshing offers”, including the Fresco Frizzante campaign on the wine market, took advantage of the long and hot summer after a period of stagnation. Sparkling wines are also entering the hot December period on a rising wave of prosecco that has opened up many new bubbly opportunities in front of consumers. Next year, we expect maintenance of the main trend of growing aspirations. The consumer wishes to be a partner rather than a recipient of the brand’s message. Thus, the producer faces the requirements of product development and open communication.

7.jpgPaweł Gurgul
President of the Board Hortex

For Hortex, it was a year of both ownership changes, on the part of the management board, and organizational ones. A new strategy, known as Hortex 3.0., has been created. It focuses on growth and change of the management style – we are building more open, flat structures. We wish to be an attractive employer, a trade partner, an innovator. As a brand, we wish to inspire consumers for better and tasty nutrition, and our products are based on vegetables and fruit, comprising the base of the food pyramid, so they perfectly suit the natural and health-improving trend as well as consumer needs. Both categories in which Hortex is present are systematically growing. We would like to additionally stimulate the growth of categories, educating the consumers on the advantages of our products, and therefore we put more emphasis on the communication of frozen food and the benefits connected with taste as well as easy and quick preparation of meals. Juices, on the other hand, are associated with the largest opportunities for consumption. As for challenges, both to us and to the industry, they are surely attributable to the growing costs of labour, energy and transport. We develop our exports of frozen products on a regular basis, sending them to more than 30 countries. Our largest markets are the Baltic states, Belarus, Romania and the Polish-diaspora markets. We focus on reinforcement of our position in countries where we have already been present. Exports account for approx. 30% of the total sales of our frozen products. We are continuously present in Russia, where Hortex is the no. 2 brand on the frozen product market, although, due to the embargo, Hortex products dedicated to this market are obviously made in Russia, with raw materials originating from non-EU countries. For juices, nectars and beverages, exports comprise a much smaller percentage of our production, but we are working on increasing it. Our products are present in more than 20 countries. The largest export directions include the USA,  England, and Bulgaria. The latest market is China.

8.jpgZenon Daniłowski
President of the Board
Makarony Polskie

We consider the year 2018 as a good one for the pasta market and for our company. Export was growing well with an upward trend. In fact it is one of the most rented areas of our activity therefore it is vital for us to concentrate on it. It is a great challenge to find new markets and settle the products on the shelves, but once a given product settles on a particular market, then such activity becomes profitable. Our largest recipient is Ukraine, which increased imports of pasta from Poland.
Our Sorenti pasta is on the shelves of the leading Ukrainian distributors. The structure of our recipients of exported products is invariably dominated by Ukraine and Egypt. We regularly export our products to Norway, Serbia, China, South Africa, the USA and EU countries.
We offer health-related products such as buckwheat, rye, wholemeal and spelt pasta. We are constantly working on enriching the product offer, because the customer is more and more conscious and expects products more tailored to their needs.
Last year we successfully launched vegetable pasta: from chickpeas, from red lentils and green peas. These pastas are very popular, we plan to introduce them to EU and Asian markets and in the USA. African markets are also very interesting for our company. We count on an increase in export sales.

10.jpgEdward Bajko
President, Spomlek Dairy Cooperative

The year of 2018 was intense for our dairy in many aspects. Above all, we recorded an increase in sales of the Serenada and Skarby Serowara cheese brands. For the former, this was a result of constant work on quality and building of brand awareness. Additionally, we have refreshed the packaging design of Serenada cheeses. This is accompanied by a nationwide campaign covering the TV media and the Internet. Advertising spots are broadcast on such channels as TVN, Polsat, TVP1, TVP2, and the most popular thematic channels such as TVN Style or Kuchnia+. Simultaneously, beside sales, we focus on education as well. We conduct cheese category management training for traders and sellers in trade chains all across Poland. We put the most emphasis on the appropriate exhibition of cheese on a traditional counter, packaging of products on a self-service counter, as well as merchandising. Due to the fact that, besides production activities, we have always been concerned with corporate social responsibilities, we also decided to develop our flagship CSR project “Serenada for Children” under which we organize unique children’s play areas at health care clinics. Although this year has been intense for our dairy cooperative, we are not slowing down and we already have many new ideas we will endeavour to implement consistently.

11.jpgWojciech Żabiński,
Vice-President of the Board
for Marketing Affairs
Carlsberg Polska

2018 has been successful for the beer industry. The reasons for the good results include sunny weather and the FIFA World Cup. These factors and the interesting offer of producers caused the beer market to grow by 6.9% in terms of value for the last 10 months, overtaking the volume growth that increased by 3.5%. Consumer trends are stable – sales of beer specialties and beers from regions with brewery traditions are growing, the segment of non-alcoholic beer is developing, flavoured beers are doing well, having reached a valuable share in the category, at the level of 10.8%, during the season.
This has also been a successful year for Carlsberg Polska. Good results were recorded by the Okocim brand continuing its strong communication platform “Tu się warzy z zasadami” (Brewing with Principles). Okocimska Klasyczna Pszenica won the Good Beer gold medal, while Porter was awarded the bronze European Beer Star. Okocim Radlers enjoyed popularity, among them the new strawberry product – Okocim Radler Truskawka, awarded with the gold Chmielaki Krasnostawskie award. We are satisfied with the results of the Žatecký Světlý Ležák brand. Other hits include Somersby and the new product – Somersby Watermelon, as well as Karmi non-alcoholic beer. In 2018, we introduced the new Birell brand of non-alcoholic beer with isotonic properties, gaining consumers among active people.
The main challenges facing the industry include legislative stability.

9.jpgBeata Panek
Quality and Development Director BELiN

For BELiN, 2018 has passed under the sign of innovation – both in terms of products and technology.
Innovative activities have been permanently inscribed in our enterprise management system. They are expressed through the constant expansion of our offer, responding to the consumer choices connected with care for health and safety, as well as search for new values. A dynamic R&D Department has existed within the structures of our company for many years, cooperation with many scientific institutions has been developing dynamically as well. The enterprise can boast patents and claims for new technological solutions. Modern management methods, the level of industrial investments and the technological knowledge allowed us to obtain resources for development of innovative operations in 2018. Currently, we are implementing an investment project co-financed by the European Funds, “Automated tea and herbs packaging technology to increase the product safety”. In response to the changing market requirements, BELiN is constantly building a modern brand. Only in 2018, our offer has expanded by more than 30 new products, including several collections: “Mami & Baby” directed to children; Komplex functional tea line; “Skarby Polskiej Natury” (Treasures of Polish Nature) – a series of teas in pyramid bags; “Ziołowe Duety” (Herbal Duets) – a series of herbal teas in surprising configurations and tastes.

12.jpgIwona German
Marketing Director
in the region of CEE McCormick Polska

McCormick Polska regards the passing year as a very successful one. Our Kamis and Galeo spice brands are constantly found among the spices most purchased by Poles who pay increasing attention to the high quality of products. This is a leading trend in the entire FMCG sector. Meeting the consumer requirements, producers put all efforts to provide the highest possible assortment quality. Customers are also more concerned with the origin of the product, the way it has been obtained, and whether production does not harm the environment. Expectations with regard to companies are growing as well – they are required to operate in a transparent and ethical manner. The taste criterion remains invariably significant – consumers accept no compromises in this regard. Our products meet these conditions excellently. With our supply chain, developed over the years, we are able to indicate the origin of the products with accuracy up to an individual field, which is included in the new communication platform of the Kamis brand, “A dokładniej?” (And More Specifically?). Strict cooperation with local suppliers, combined with complex research, guarantee the top class and delightful taste of our products. We look forward for the upcoming year to be equally successful, to us and to the entire FMCG market which will continue to record growth stimulated by increasing consumption.

13.jpgSławomira Raczkowska
Export Manager

The year 2018 was most of all a continuation of the initiated changes in previous years like consolidations, innovations, trends and a strong brand. These occurrences have brought many challenges also for our company. In addition, it was necessary to face rising production and labor costs. Polish food has been conquering the EU markets mainly through a good price to quality ratio. It has been a simple competitive advantage in relation to foreign producers. Currently, in the face of these changes, a new strategy is needed to conquer foreign markets. One of such ideas is building our own brand. Although it is not an easy matter because it requires a lot of time and investing a lot of money. Anyway previous year was very busy, full of chalanges and sometimes not predictible in consumer expectation. The trends changed very fast from standard sweets to more healthy and functional products. Faced with these expectations, we have developed new recipes for organic products which is available in 3 variates: raisins, cranberries and almonds in dark chocolate. Most of all we also focus on developing new products which we are going to sell next year. We developed recipe new nuts and fruits bars which will be available in six taste under the brand SHE+ENERGY fruit&nut and HE+ENERGY nut&choco.

14.jpgKatarzyna Kołacz
Export Manager
ZM Dobrowolscy

For the export department at ZM Dobrowolscy, 2018 was intense and full of emotions. We have achieved a 60% increase in sales compared to 2017, yet our ambitions and capabilities are significantly higher, so we intend to achieve even better results in 2019. This seems to be quite achievable through acquisition of new countries, and consequently, new importers. The strong expansion of exports by ZM Dobrowolscy is evidenced by new product lines which have become very well received by importers.
European markets are of strategic importance to the exports of ZM Dobrowolscy. This year, we have marked our presence with our products particularly strongly in the UK, and in the new year, we will take another challenge, by starting cooperation with three new countries.
We put all efforts into the adaptation of our products to the requirements of the importer’s market. Above all, we keep the quality of the offered product in mind, along with packing forms and logistic solutions.
Among other things, we make ourselves visible by participating in trade missions, export congresses and foreign fairs.
This year, the export strength of ZM Dobrowolscy has been appreciated at the Food Export Congress in Warsaw with the first prize of the “Polish Food Export Awards”.

18.jpgZbigniew Mojecki
Deputy President for Commercial Affairs

I believe the time for assessment and summary is yet to come – December is a very intense, almost crucial sales period, immensely affecting the evaluation of the entire year. Nevertheless, we can boast a turnover increase recorded after ten months. We associate this trend with both our operations and wider market trends suited well by the Cooperative’s products. In particular, I mean the growth of popularity of products characterized by high quality and unique taste advantages. Another good thing is that 2018 finally brought a long-awaited stabilization on the FCMG market. Conducting business became more predictable than in 2017, enabling us to plan our operations within a longer time horizon. In this context, it is worth mentioning the marketing of the Majonez Kielecki Lekki mayonnaise and the Musztarda Kielecka Starofrancuska mustard. Today, I can admit these moves have been successful – these products have been positively evaluated by customers. Currently, we are preparing other new products to reach the market next year – or at least it is our plan to introduce them. To sum up, it should be said that we are working hard to improve our results for last year and we are on the right path to succeed.

15.jpgMariusz Ryciak
Deputy Marketing Director

2018 was full of challenges for the food industry. The growing awareness of healthy lifestyle makes customer expectations concerning the quality, origin and composition of food increasingly higher. The so-called “clean label” trend is prevailing on the Polish market as well; according to this year’s survey by Nielsen, more than 60% of Polish consumers select products with a simple and clear list of ingredients. However, the eco-trend is not just about the use of unprocessed, natural components but about the manner of obtaining thereof. A modern customer, being a member of the Generation Y, expects the food purchased at a store to come from ecological farms and to be produced with due respect for natural resources. The programme policy of OSHEE meets these expectations through the elimination of palm oil from all products and significant sugar content reduction. A new customer profile also means a change in the approach to shopping. According to the “Shopper Study” survey conducted by Opinion in 2017, 80% of Poles regard product quality as the key factor affecting a shopping decision, and 66% declare they would gladly pay more for a better-quality product. Combined with the increase in purchasing power, such changes should contribute to the development of the industry.

16.jpgAgata Makowska
Trade, Exports, and Marketing Director
District Dairy Cooperative in Łowicz

In 2018, the District Dairy Cooperative in Łowicz carried out the process of virtually complete rebranding of its portfolio under the Łowickie brand – the product packaging was enriched with a folklore motif of a modern incarnation of a striped fabric from the Łowicz region, which, combined with the white, communicates the regional character, naturalness and high quality of our products. The packaging of Łowickie milk underwent the deepest transformation: besides the design change, it also gained a new, more practical format of a carton with an innovative winged cap which allows the carton to be opened with a single, simple hand movement. We are the only company on the Polish market to have this carton closing system. The packaging of Łowicka UHT cream will soon gain this solution too. Introduction of such profound changes in the brand image required us to intensify our marketing activities. The extensive campaign conducted in 2018 has enabled us to convince the existing consumers to the new brand image and has drawn crowds of new ones as well. In the case of many assortments, rebranding was accompanied by a positive change in compositions of our products, allowing us to join the “clear label” trends. 2019 will require us to further communicate the changes we have introduced and to build an even stronger position of the Łowickie brand.

17.jpgAndrzej Zalewski
Marketing Director 
BZK Alco

For us, 2018 has been a very important year due to our entry into the market, BZK Alco is a new player. From that time, we have introduced more than 50 products, enabling our offer to meet the needs and tastes of different consumers, including the most demanding ones. Our flagship alcohol is the ultrapremium Senator Komorowski Organic Vodka made of select rye grown at certified organic farms, as well as Björn vodka – both of them have won quality awards in major international contests on three continents. One of our most recognizable brand is Kazimierz Wielki. Besides, our offer includes coloured alcohols, such as the Kordiały (“Cordials”) referencing the tradition of Old Polish liqueurs made since the 16th century, or the Magnat collection which, in turn, references the liquor-making customs of old magnate courts. Our economic category offers the Janosik and Waligóra brands. Our key to success is the top quality of our products. We operate within one of the greatest crop-processing groups in Poland. This allows us to handle every part of the production process, field to table. We select and store the grain, distill the spirit and transport it to our own bottling plant – all by ourselves. Unlike other producers, we own as much as 488 distillation shelves, enabling sevenfold distillation and, consequently, production of unpolluted alcohol (0 ppm).

19.jpgJacek Wyrzykiewicz
PR & Marketing
Services Manager
Hochland Polska

We are now beginning the 25th year of operation of Hochland in Poland. For Hochland Polska, the passing year of 2018 has been marked by dynamic investments, market debuts and active support to local communities. Currently, the greatest environmentally-friendly investment implemented by Hochland Polska, worth approx. 3.5million euros, is the replacement of an evaporative installation for whey and powdered milk production at the Węgrów plant. The products of Hochland are sold in more than 30 countries on several continents. For more than 90 years, Hochland has guaranteed the top quality of its products, has been present in all the major domestic and international cheese segments, and has been doing great, not only in the retail food sector trade. It also supplies several branches of the food and catering industry. The company employs more than 4,200 employees in more than a dozen production plants. Recently, it has acquired a large US cottage cheese producer, Franklin Foods Inc. The plant in Kaźmierz near Poznań produces, above all, a full range of Hochland cream cheeses. The Węgrów plant specializes in cottage cheeses, including the cult-status Almette, as well as many variants of yellow cheese. The large number of products in Hochland’s offer – and thousands of people involved in the building of the brand’s history and strength – all make quite a rarity! In the years to come, Hochland intends to continue the search for products best suiting the taste of the demanding Polish consumer.

20.jpgGrzegorz Lenart
Export Director

The Polish market is the main area of operations of LOTTE Wedel, yet we also focus on letting foreign consumers learn the perfect quality of our products. This year, exports have accounted for approx. 10% of the company’s sales, and further growth is anticipated. Polish products are competitive abroad, with such advantages as excellent quality, attractive prices (sustainable due to lower labour costs), or modern packaging design. Increasingly more Polish companies achieve success in sales, overtaking their competitors in Europe and beyond.
To us, 2018 was intense but very fruitful. We entered new markets, such as Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and Mongolia, introducing many new items. The products of the Wedel brand enjoy much popularity, particularly due to their quality and diversity. We strive to adapt our offer to a specific market in the best degree possible, with regard to tastes, formats and packaging alike. To maintain a high export growth rate, greater diversification of exports will be necessary, so many challenges lie ahead of us. We expect 2019 to bring us further development, e.g. through expansion to Arab countries.

21.jpgArkadiusz Majchrzak
Export Manager
Terravita Sp. z o.o.

2018 was very good for TERRAVITA company especially in export sales. We launched on the market with success a few new products and the same gained new Customers. During ISM 2018 fairs in Cologne we presented new line of chocolates in our assortment under CHOCOLA brand – perfect harmony of supreme quality chocolate with simple but exquisite extras like strawberries, corn, coffee beans, almonds and mango. New chocolates were introduced on the market just before chocolate season but we already received positive feedback from the market.  Besides that we refreshed the assortment of classic 100g milk chocolates tablets.
In 2018 we entered new markets like South Africa and Kosovo and enlarged our business in those countries where we already were present. To sum up – in 2018 our products were available in 32 countries outside Poland. In 2019 we would like to continue our plan of development of our assortment by fulfilment of our conceptions and introduction of new products on the market which will meet our Customers’ needs.

24.jpgSylwia Mokrysz
Proxy and Board Member, Mokate

At Mokate, 2018 was a good period for the Tea Unit. We are bringing our construction and logistic investments to an end and still developing our product portfolio. Our development takes place both in the segment of economic teas – dominated by the reliable Minutka – and of premium ones, including the full range of LOYD teas. Last year, the customers appreciated us again, which is of highest value for every company. “Golden Receipt” and “Trade Hit” awards confirm this fact well. Among other things, we have expanded our LOYD Warming Tea line to include other taste compositions. As always, we focus on health-promoting activities popularizing such a lifestyle, as evidenced by such products as the LOYD Recepta na…: Zdrowe Gardło, Spokojny i Dobry Sen, and Aktywne Trawienie (Recipe For: Healthy Throat, Peaceful and Good Sleep, and Active Digestion) functional tea line.

22.jpgAnna Adaszewska
Marketing Manager

Another year in more than quarter of a century of the history of Italmex is coming to an end. This year, two important TV campaigns have taken place, promoting brands we distribute: Bruschette Maretti (popular salty snacks) and Costa d’Oro (olive oils). We have supported both campaigns with numerous promotional actions. As each year, we have organized many thematical promotions jointly with producers, allowing the products we distribute to reach the shelves at very attractive prices. We have also introduced new products such as: SoWell nut cream (no salt, sugar and palm oil), Red Delight chocolates (reduced calorific value and no sugar), Costa d’Oro Il Grezzo unfiltered olive oil (20% more antioxidants), Sam Mills gluten-free pasta made of leguminous plants (chickpeas, lentil, black bean – high protein content), as well as many products bearing the BIO certificate. We believe that the healthy lifestyle fashion will be determining nutritional trends in the years to come. Besides the offer adapted to the needs of consumers, the market requires producers and importers to meet increasingly high servicing standards. In order to satisfy the constantly growing requirements of the market, Italmex plans to move to a new company headquarters with significantly larger storage facilities at the turn of 2018 and 2019. This will enable us to constantly develop the assortment and maintain the highest possible quality in order and delivery implementation.

23.jpgNatalia Babczyńska
Category Manager of Knorr, Unilever Polska

For the Knorr brand, 2018 was immensely significant for several reasons. Firstly, the brand has introduced completely new product segments into its portfolio. We have offered our consumers single  spices for the first time – the new line includes as many as 19 variants of spices coming from regions of the world where they have optimal growth conditions. This is confirmed by the “Guarantee of Country of Origin” stamp on the packaging. Secondly, this year, Knorr was steadily developing the offer of products characterized by transparent, natural composition, thus responding to consumer expectations. The portfolio of specialist spices was refreshed, offering 100% natural products. Simultaneously, the Naturalnie Smaczne! (Naturally Tasty!) line of fixes is being consistently developed – 2018 saw the emergence of new variants inspiring consumers to make pasta dishes and meals traditionally associated with the Polish cuisine. New variants of salad sauces in the Naturalnie Smaczne! line have also appeared. Next year, we plan to continue the development of segments of products with natural compositions. We will keep on developing a wide offer of spices and inspiring consumers on www.przepisy.pl.

25.jpgRobert Zawadzki
Department of Economic Promotion
Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH)

The share of foodstuffs in Polish export is 80% and, despite the growing prominence of technologically advanced products, the position of this sector seems unthreatened. Apples and poultry are the leading categories, and the EU states comprise the main direction for Polish producers. However, the capacity of the closest markets is slowly shrinking, which seems to be directly proportional to the industry’s growing boldness and appetite for new trade destinations. Importantly, Polish companies know how to create trends and how to introduce their assortment into all niches of the food market. In analogy to the IT industry, the Polish food sector also sees emergence of startups creating innovative products that find recognition among international experts. An example is the segment of the so-called superfood, i.e. natural food with proven health-improving effects, compliant with the healthy lifestyle trend and satisfying the needs of consumers suffering from congenital food intolerances. This is where domestic producers start rising to prominence and even gaining international awards. In competitions organized at foreign fairs, Polish beverages, craft beers, wines, mineral waters, cereal products, and fruit preparations are incessantly successful, yet many trails still have to be blazed, often on remote markets, to translate these successes into actual sales. An example Polish food startup is the Cruz Group, winner of the Food Innovation of 2018 award for the Yoko beverage at the SIAL Paris and SIAL China trade fairs. The brand that has only been around for 3 years is present in 31 countries now. The entrepreneurs from Poznań are helped in reaching their distributors by the Foreign Trade Bureaus of the PAIH, directing the company’s operations and supporting it with contact networks. The PAIH also promotes Poland as a place of origin of high-quality products, as exemplified by the joint initiative of the PAIH and the Polish Breweries, creating the slogan “Proudly Made in Poland”.

26.jpgAndrzej Szumowski
President of the Board
Polish Vodka Association

For the spirit industry, 2018 was a time of introduction of important changes in the legal environment. New regulations came into force on 9 March, allowing commune councils to determine the maximum limit of licenses for sales of alcoholic beverages in the commune’s territory. Other changes include expansion of the list of places where drinking alcohol is banned, as well as enabling local governments to limit the sales of alcohol between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.
The whisky category has recorded high growth again, but unflavoured vodka has still been the predominant strong spirit on the Polish market. Beside unflavoured vodkas, flavoured spirit variants were dynamically developing. Most of them have an alcohol content below 37.7%, so they are not classified as vodka (in the light of the regulations in force). Nevertheless, their popularity is on the rise.
The passing year has confirmed the growing consumer interest in products of the premium segment. The quality of the product, the history behind it, or attractive packaging are what increasingly matters to buyers of strong liquor. Therefore, I hope more and more producers will be making vodka bearing the Polska Wódka (Polish Vodka) protected geographical indication and predominantly meeting the criteria of a premium vodka. An important event for the Polish Vodka Association was the opening of the first Museum of Polish Vodka in June 2018, in the area of the Koneser Centre (at a former vodka factory) in the Praga district of Warsaw. This is the first place in Poland where one can learn the history of our national liquor, from the beginnings up to the present day.

27.jpgMaciej Ptaszyński
General Director
Polish Chamber of Commerce

2018 saw the introduction of non-trade Sundays. For the smallest stores, which can be run by the owners themselves, turnover on the non-trade Sundays themselves is on the rise, but, due to aggressive campaigns of foreign discount stores advertising before weekends, the turnover of small stores drops so much on Fridays and Saturdays that the Sunday growth is unable to compensate for the losses from the previous days. On the other hand, larger stores cannot compensate for the drops caused by the Sunday closure of shops. The government has also determined that theft below the value of PLN 500 is only a misdemeanour. Introduction of a register of thieves is a step in the right direction, yet determination of the maximum amount at which theft is not a felony remains a persistent problem. This year, local government bodies have the power to decide where and at what times alcohol may be sold. They have also obtained new powers concerning granting of alcohol sales licenses – entities that will lose their right to sell alcohol will be less competitive than the shops that do sell liquor. This will affect the competitiveness between stores but may also cause an increase in corruption of commune self-government. The new year will have more trade-free Sundays and we will see increasingly stronger results of this change. We also expect an increase in prices of products, to be caused by an immense increase in power costs.

28.jpgThanos Athanassopoulos
Managing Director
Barilla Poland

2018 has been another year of growing sales. We can boast a two-digit growth in sales of pasta and sauces (Source: internal data of the company). This is a result of consistent application of the adopted media presence strategy and promotional activities at points of sale.
The year of 2018 saw the start of a campaign with a new brand ambassador – the tennis champion Roger Federer. In his everyday life, he embodies the principles that have allowed him to win the hearts of millions of people worldwide. His values and stardom comply with the mission of Barilla, consisting in contributing to better nutrition and sustainable development of the planet.
Federer’s quest for perfection on the one hand and simplicity on the other hand also work fine in the case of Barilla: with a product as excellent and simple at the same time as the Barilla pasta, everyone can be a champion, hence the campaign slogan – Masters of Pasta. We are constantly working on the expansion of distribution of our products to all sales channels as well as on the start of cooperation with new customers. We focus on appropriate assortment and exhibition at sales places, the key elements ensuring constant growth.

tagi: Polish FMCG market , HELIO , Wawel , Pszczółka Candy Factory , BAKALLAND , Unilever , Polish Vodka Association , Wedel , Barilla , OSHEE , Dobrowolscy ,