Polish FMCG market summary

Tuesday, 30 January, 2018
Full of success, investment, change, innovation and new products, but challenges too – this was the year of 2017 in the Polish FMCG industry. Managers of the largest companies whose products are well-known and appreciated worldwide tell us about important events in the development of well-known and popular companies, the challenges they faced, and their predictions for the following year.

3.jpgTomasz Kurpisz,
President of the Board
Hortex Group

2017 was a good year for the Hortex Group. At home, expanding markets have been working in our favour in the category of frozen vegetables and fruit as well as juices, nectars and soft drinks. Additionally, we have managed to increase shares in both categories. Consumers have received our innovations very well – including frozen fruit as well as pressed juices and the Hortex Bubbles line of carbonated beverages. The sale of fruit beverages under the Hortex brand distinctly increased above the dynamics of the entire segment. The brand has also strengthened its position in juices and nectars. This makes Hortex the fastest-developing brand on the market of juices, nectars and soft drinks. We have also increased sales of frozen foodstuffs on export markets, being currently present on more than 30 of the latter. Moreover, the recovering sales of our products and last year’s improvement of the economic situation in Russia, including the stable exchange rate of the rouble, also bring positive effects. As for investments, we have finished the implementation of the second plastic bottle juice production line, which allows us to resign from the copacking service and will have a positive impact on our financial result. It also allows for quicker introduction of new products in more diverse packaging. A challenge was posed by costs connected with such issues as employment or prices of raw materials, energy or water, which have been rising for several years and their scale has forced us, as other manufacturers, to raise prices.

1.jpgRobert Ogór,
President of the Board

This was a successful year for us. The most important new product, and the greatest campaign, was the widespread promotion of Cydr Lubelski Niefiltrowany which – along with other cider specialties such as Perry Lubelski, Cydr Lubelski Antonówka, or our latest innovation, Cydr Lubelski Lodowy – allowed us to strengthen the position of the Cydr Lubelski brand and to enrich the cider category which is so important to us. On the growing wine market, we have expanded the portfolio of our leading brands, CIN&CIN and MichelAngelo, with table wines. We have also taken the first step in entering the dynamically developing whisky market, by reactivating whisky manufactured under the brand J.A. Baczewski established as early as the 1930s. Simultaneously, we expanded the assortment of whisky in our Centrum Wina [Wine Centre] an all-Polish chain of specialist shops. Another important event for the AMBRA Company was the entry of Pliska – one of the most frequently purchased brands of brandy in Poland – into the large market of so-called miniatures, i.e. liquor in small-volume bottles. We count on this innovation to be an impulse for development of an entire category, broadening the range of occasions to consume brandy. Simultaneously, 2017 saw the start of the modernization process of production lines at our plant in Biłgoraj. These investments are intended to increase both the efficiency and the innovative capacity.

9.jpgJan Kolański,
President of the Board

It was another hardworking year for our company. This year abounded in many campaigns and promotional actions of our flagship brands. We communicated intensively such brands as: Goplana, Solidarność, Jeżyki, Grześki, Hellena and Appetita. We promoted our brands in TV, internet (including social media), cinemas, trade and consumer press and during many events. They were supported by PR and in-sales points. This strategy resulted in increase of supported brands market income. We rebuilt the sales model and we concentrated on effective approach to retail market, asserting our presence in all sale channels. It has to be emphasized that our most important categories has increased faster than the market overall (impulse wafers, family wafers, praline, chocolate cookies and jellybeans). It was also great time for Hellena Orangeade, which is acknowledged leader in its segment.

The sales of key product in orangeade category under Hellena brand, grow in 9% within nine months of 2017. In 2017, as the first company in Poland, we received prestigious award European Candy Kettle Award. The association of European Candy Kettle Club distinguished us for innovation and our contribution in development of sweets market. Additionally, we continued the strategy of increasing our attendance and activity on international markets.

5.jpgArtur Kowalczyk
Commercial Director at TAGO Tadeusz Gołębiewski Confectionery Company

For Tago, the year of 2017 was busy, very dynamic and full of challenges. We have introduced several new products into our portfolio. The Premium product line was enhanced by new flavours of meringue with light fruit cream. An absolute innovation, which has met very positive receipt, is the Tago Excellent bomboniere, a mix of delicious cookies for every opportunity. With our youngest consumers in mind, we have introduced Taguś the bear into the offer. It is a delicious filled sponge cookie available in a cream and fruit version.

In order to meet the expectations of the market and keep up with the ever-changing consumer preferences, in 2017, as in the previous years, we have invested in modernizing machinery and in new technologies, which has affected not just the expansion of our product portfolio but the quality improvement of products offered initially. This was a year of intense work. Despite the increase in prices of certain raw materials, e.g. butter, as well as costs of manufacturing and packaging, it has brought measurable benefits. Not only have we recorded a growth in sales, but the Tago brand is becoming increasingly recognizable and appreciated by customers. This makes us certain this is surely the right direction of change and we will continue to pursue it in the next years.

4.jpgAnna Bakun
Commercial Director

Since 2008, the number of discount stores in Poland has doubled, which has resulted in them gaining the leading position on the retail market in our country. Looking from a manufacturer’s viewpoint, the demand for fast-moving goods is on the rise. It is a great advantage for us and a good moment to introduce our new products to the market. We are satisfied with the fact that our product has become easily accessible, although we do not deny there is still a lot of work ahead. Currently, Sotelli pasta can already be bought in such shops as: Biedronka, Lidl, Kaufland, Dino, Żabka, Netto, Carrefour, Auchan, Aldi, Polomarket, Stokrotka, or in ecological store chains. We have all worked together for this success, for which I would express my gratitude to the entire crew that has put much effort and involvement in the development of the Sotelli brand. We can sum up the year of 2017 with one phrase – complete success. Most of our plans have been implemented in 100%. Pol-Foods does not rest on its laurels and intends to start 2018 with a bang. Starting in January, we will launch a new advertising campaign to promote our new products, such as pasta in the form of nests in a beautiful tube or large shells for stuffing. We also plan to introduce flavoured pasta as well as new forms, including a fourth one dedicated to children. Apart from marketing and commercial activities, 2018 will bring us many investments. We are building a new production floor to house 6 lines and opening a ready product warehouse. We aim at expanding our assortment and purchasing further machinery. We are storming forward and we can never get enough.

20.jpgTomasz Bławat
President of the Board
Carlsberg Polska

This was an interesting year, full of challenges. Among other things, it was interesting from the viewpoint of the beer category which has recorded a 1.3% increase in value after October, for the first time in many years. Although Poles do not drink more beer, potential for the growth of value in the category can be seen, which is a good thing. In June, Carlsberg Polska finished two important investments at the Okocim Brewery in Brzesko. We modernized the sewage treatment factory that currently meets the stringent environmental standards for treatment factories in an urban agglomeration. We also built a new water intake on the Uszwica River. Many important activities have been going on with our brands. After the 2016 change in the positioning of the Okocim brand, this year we have focused on the consolidation of its position. We are satisfied with the results, and Okocim beer won prestigious prizes, such as the gold European Beer Star for the best wheat beer and a bronze one for the Porter, as well as the Good Beer gold medal for Okocim beer at the Polish Beer Congress. We have successfully implemented new positioning for Karmi non-alcoholic beer and introduced the new Žatecký Svĕtlý Ležák beer which achieves good sales results. 2017 also marked the jubilee of the 170th anniversary of the Carlsberg brewery and brand. An important event for the Carlsberg Group and Carlsberg Polska was the announcement of the new TOGETHER TOWARDS ZERO sustainable development objectives. They are an ambitious reference point for the entire industry, assuming that until 2030, the Group will minimize emissions of carbon dioxide to zero, reduce the consumption of water in breweries by half, bring the number of accidents to zero, and provide consumers with a 100% choice of non-alcoholic variants of beer.

This was an interesting year, full of challenges, but also full of satisfaction from the many projects we have successfully completed through joint effort of all Carlsberg employees.

17.jpgPiotr Kraśnicki
Sales Director

The past year was very successful to us in every respect. We are closing it with impressive sales growth in our Polish office, exceeding 30%, whereas total sales of the entire Group exceed EUR 100 million. We have intensified our presence on the Polish market, which has resulted in entering several new, very interesting projects for the largest European retail chains. At the beginning of the year, we launched our new production plant in Vitebsk, Belarus, which is already operating in full capacity, handling supplies of metal shelves and cash desks to countries of the Community of Independent States (the states of the former USSR).

In March, we took part in the world’s largest event of the retail sector: the EuroShop trade fair in Düsseldorf, where we had the largest exhibition stand of all Central and Eastern European companies. We have presented a comprehensive offer for the shop equipment industry, including our latest solutions connected with new technologies, such as intelligent shelves, self-service boxes or solutions for e-commerce. By the way, our parcel terminals with cooling, so-called FreshBoxes, received the Trade Innovations 2017 award at the November RetailShow fair in Warsaw and within the coming months, we plan the first implementations on the Polish market, jointly with several large European players. In June, we commissioned our new distribution centre serving the European Union countries, located in the Lublin Economic Zone, and we will be moving to a new office in December. In connection with the dynamic development, we have expanded our team by several specialists from different fields, and for 2018, we intend to employ almost twenty more people in the Commercial Department. In September, the structures of the Modern-Expo Group were joined by the R.E.D. IT company with a team of more than 100 IT experts, specializing in creation and integration of advanced IT solutions. We are jointly working on solutions in the area of biometrics and artificial intelligence, which will have an opportunity to revolutionize the retail sector soon. Therefore, we look forward to the future with much optimism.

8.jpgIwona Jacaszek-Pruś
Corporate Affairs Director
Kompania Piwowarska

The most important event from the company’s viewpoint has been the takeover of Kompania Piwowarska by Asahi. Currently, together with Czech, Romanian, Slovak and Hungarian breweries, we operate on the market as the Asahi Breweries Europe Group. Since spring until late autumn, our beer could have been won in bottle-cap lotteries – first “Dwa Szybkie Żubry” [Two Quick Bisons] and later “Szukaj skarbów!” [Search for Treasures!] with Tyskie. The latter action also featured unique gold coins to be won. Both promotions brought excellent results with regard to sales of the Żubr and Tyskie brands. A great success was the Przystanek Woodstock festival sponsored by Lech, as well as the second edition of the Lechstarter programme organized by this brand. Moreover, Lech has prepared two new products for beer lovers – Lech Lite with a 3.5% alcohol content, and Lech Ice Bloody Orange, a beer mix with a flavour of orange lemonade. The Jasne Ryżowe variant returned to the collection of Książęce for summer, and Książęce Pierwsze Zbiory was offered at catering establishments in the autumn. On the other hand, Redd’s and Dębowe Dojrzałe Mocne gained new packaging. In general, 2017 was quite difficult for the entire beer sector, which was caused by capricious weather and lack of large-scale sports events that usually stimulate sales of beer. However, a change of trend regarding the market value makes us optimistic. For the first time in many years, the average price of beer has increased, which means that Poles drink less, but they choose better proposals on the market more frequently.

6.jpgLeszek Wąsowicz,
President of the Board

We have completed 25 years of operation. This was a very successful jubilee. Thanks to considerable investment in promotion, including TV campaigns as well as marketing operations with our recipients, the recognizability of the HELIO brand and its sales have increased. On an annual average, this growth considerably exceeded 30%, both in terms of value and volume. It is worth noting that there were also SKUs which have almost doubled the sales per item, such as HELIO Natura plums without preservatives, 80 g HELIO almonds, or 300 g HELIO trail mix. There were also “hits” sales of which increased up to five times, e.g. HELIO macadamia nuts. Apart from the sales growth rate and investments in the brand, quite stunning for this sector, we have also reinforced the production infrastructure. We identify modern technologies and the highest standards of quality and production safety with consistently built competitive advantage. It allows us to have one of the largest and most modern production plants in Europe today, therefore being a reliable manufacturer and timely supplier of even the largest quantities. Next year, we will benefit from the favourable market trends and the potential generated by the hitherto actions taken. New campaigns and innovations lie ahead. I firmly believe that our experience and considerable investments in the brand will make the consumer reach, even more eagerly, for HELIO products, and their sales to our recipients will still be on the rise. Therefore, I hope you will stay with us in the future, appreciating HELIO as a solid and reliable business partner.

7.jpgEvangelos Evangelou,
President of the Board

The past twelve months have been another excellent year for Herbapol-Lublin. We have maintained the position of leader in five categories of tea: herbal, fruit, green, red, functional, as well as in the category of fruit syrups. In the segment of jam products, we have occupied a firm third place in the market, which – given the strong competition and relatively recent debut in this category – gives us much satisfaction. This year was rich in debuts. On the HoReCa market, we introduced two tea lines: Breakfast and Premium. I can already say it was a right decision and its results are satisfactory. We have also created a new category of products, combining herbs and fruit in a convenient liquid form. The Zielnik Polski Esencja Zdrowia is the only product of its kind on the Polish market, available in three variants. Another product appearing in sales is the Naturalna Ice Tea, or a tea beverage without colorants, preservatives and sweeteners, which has been very well-received. All our products, both the new ones and those well-known to consumers, are inspired by nature and characterized by top quality. This has been the case – invariably – for 68 years. 2017 was also a year of investments: we have allocated considerable resources for the purchase of new production lines, as well as marketing operations and programmes directed to our employees. These are the three components of our success and they will surely contribute to the implementation of the strategy assumed for the following years.

12.jpgMaciej Herman,
Sales and Marketing Director at LOTTE Wedel

For the Wedel brand, 2017 was a time of many changes, premieres and innovations. In September, we introduced a new communication platform employing our symbol from the inter-war period – a boy riding a zebra. This is a considerable change in the brand image, emphasis on our roots and application of ingenious solutions introduced by the Wedel family members many years ago. We have already seen high popularity of the new communication several weeks since its introduction, we use it in virtually all channels. The time for assessment of business effects is yet to come, but we can already say today that the consumers love the lovely boy sitting on the back of the ironic zebra.

2017 also saw constant expansion of our product offer and the expansion of our factory. We marketed a delicacy that is an international-scale innovation: Dekorowane Ptasie Mleczko® has reindeer or star patterns on each foam. Until now, no company involved in large-scale confectionery production has introduced such a solution, we are the first! Expansion of the factory is also important to us. Three large investments are planned – one of them has already started, while the other two should be implemented in 2019-2020. The first of them is the construction of a mobile high-bay warehouse. Automatization of the central packing centre has been scheduled for 2018. The last stage will be start-up of the new production lines. In spite of difficult market realities, E.Wedel is still developing. We have an appetite for success and we will enter 2018 with many new products and even more joy!

4.jpgTadeusz Czarniecki,
Marketing Director

For many years, including this year, the market of food products has been developing in parallel with global consumer trends, which can clearly be seen when we look at individual product categories. This year, Wawel focused predominantly on products and their key features: quality and taste. As a part of the pioneering Good Ingredients (Dobre Składniki, initiative, we have successfully improved the recipes of all our products, focusing on natural aromas, certified lecithin (non-GMO), elimination of palm oil from full chocolates, as well as lack of colourants, preservatives and any unnecessary additives. Moreover, we do not use the popular E476 emulsifier used in the production of chocolate in order to accelerate the manufacturing process and lower its costs. These changes prove that even in the segment of sweets, consumers may receive a product containing only what should be inside, while the brand still remains accessible. Of course, we have appropriately communicated the recipe changes on packages of all products to help the consumers make their choices and, in a sense, to encourage them to reflect on what they buy. The entirety of our activities this year is bound by a cohesive communication strategy under the slogan “Good feeling, good-doing”, headed by new advertisements for the key brands of the portfolio. However, let us not forget that consumers today also want to get involved in the brand’s activity and expect it to provide such an opportunity – this is why the CSR area has its own special place in our strategy. Finally, it is worth stressing the investment aspect without which we could not have been able to speak about development – the expansion of the production plant has given us new capacities, markedly increased the production capacity, and it contributes to further development of the offer. To sum up, 2017 has been a time of intense work and change in many areas of activity, and the consumers themselves will see if these have been properly implemented – we are strongly convinced that we have made it.

8.jpgJacek Wyrzykiewicz,
PR & Marketing Services Manager Hochland Polska

The year of 2017 was good for Hochland thanks to the hard work of all Employees. We have recorded double-digit growths of sales, an increase in our market shares, but also of growth dynamics in the entire category. This was a year of record-breaking results in the sales of Almette, also due to the “Wygraj dom z natury po raz wtóry” [Win a house from nature, once more] promotion. The year also brought new investments in product development. A strong hit on the basic market of processed cheese definitely comes into fore. A complete brand redesign, combined with recipe changes, a programme of intense support to distribution channels, as well as strong media communication emphasizing the advantages of the product and its additives, has been well-received by the market. This year brings new advertising campaigns, e.g. for Hochland Kanapkowy. The relaunch of Hochland Yellow Slices is another activity that communicates naturalness and the functional benefits of key significance for consumers: Polish milk, richness in calcium, a lactose free composition and free from preservatives, and above all, free of GMO. Hochland Polska was the first dairy company in Poland to have received the VLOG: “GMO Free” quality certificate for sliced yellow cheese. Finally, 2017 meant many awards and distinctions: Plastry Hochland Na gorąco! [hot sliced cheese] achieved the 3rd position in the “FOOD INNOVATION” category and won the BRONZE MEDAL in the 6th Edition of the all-Polish “BEST PRODUCT 2017 – Consumers’ Choice®” survey; Almette cheese won the “Golden Receipt 2017 – Award of Polish Merchants” statue; Almette with radish as well as Almette with spinach and garlic have been distinguished by the FMCG Hit 2017 statue and the Pearl of the FMCG Market 2017; 100 g processed cream cheese with ham has received the „Trade Hit 2017” distinction for the best-selling product in the Spreadable Cheese category. The Hochland brand became the winner of this year’s edition of the “ Poles’ Favourite Brand 2017” consumer survey in the Yellow Cheese category. Cheese from the Hochland offer has been distinguished in several categories of the Lider Forum 2017 competition.

16.jpgDorota Liszka,
Corporate Communication Manager/ Spokesperson of the Maspex Group

In 2017, as every year, our brands – leaders in their categories – responded to consumer expectations with regard to the offer and were very strongly supported in marketing, as well as in stores, throughout the year. This year, Tymbark has marketed blackcurrant-based nectars with banana and mango, a new Jabłko-Aloes (Apple/Aloe Vera) flavour line, as well as new Tymbark Vitamini flavours. The brand has also refreshed its packaging design. Kubuś has expanded its portfolio, introducing new products in each category, beginning from new cookies: Nadziane (Filled), “CHOCO” cereal ones in a family pack, as well as 8 zbóż mleko&czekolada [8 cereals with milk & chocolate], through a new line of Kubuś Play! mega-fruit flavours, Kubuś Waterrr Sport functional flavour water, to the newest ones – carrot and fruit-based 100% juices. Łowicz has introduced innovative products into its offer, including Sosy Uniwersalne (Universal Sauces) and Koncentrat Pomidorowy (Tomato Paste) in a lightweight sachet. Two important new products of Lubella are the MINI pasta line – five unique, inspiring suggestions, and, in the flakes category, Lubella Corn Flakes Kakao i Miód (Cocoa and Honey). The brand has also introduced Mąka Uniwersalna (Universal Flour). Krakus introduced unique innovations, such as Chrzan Śmietankowy (Cream Horseradish) and Ogórki Korniszony flavoured pickled cucumbers, whereas DrWitt changed the 1-liter packages into lightweight bottles.

As for investments, we implement them at almost all our production plants – in Lublin (Lubella), Olsztynek (Kubuś), Łowicz (Agros Nova), and Tymbark. Depending on the needs of these plants, the investments include expansion of the production facility or construction of logistic centres. In October, we performed the 19th takeover in our history, purchasing the Aquarex AD company; consequently, we acquired Velingrad natural mineral water and a production plant in Bulgaria.

13.jpgDarius Saikevičius,
Acting President of the Board

Our focus at Mieszko in 2017 was quality improvement of our products and we have invested in new products in line with the latest trends. We have marketed our hits: Cherrissimo Classic and Exclusive, Amoretta, and Espresso, in a form encouraging customers for everyday consumption and sharing. We care for the consumers to celebrate everyday life together with us and taste life with Mieszko every day, sharing this pleasure with their beloved ones. We have also been consistently investing in the cult-status Michaszki candies – our family brand. We have introduced Michaszki Junior with cocoa, milk and grain, suited to the trends of health promotion – for children. Since November, Poles can savour Michaszki-flavoured wafers. Our strongest candy brand, Zozole for children and young people, enjoyed market successes in 2017. Sales of Zozole jellies rose by 23%, whereas the entire market rose by 13%. In November, we marketed the unique Zozole Green Power which can be eaten by vegans as they are natural, gluten- and gelatine-free pectin jellies with fiber, fruit juices and vitamins, as well as Zozole Soko Loko – delicious colourful jellies with remarkably high content of fruit juices – up to 36%. We have also invested in the segment of functional candies with the Eukaliptus brand. We introduced two new tastes: Eucalyptus & blackcurrant with sage extract, as well as Eucalyptus & orange with linden extract. We promoted our products in the media. At the end of the year, we supported our Christmas offer in the press, on billboards and in digital marketing. In November, December and January, a lottery will take place with a Fiat 500 and “Yes” bracelets as prizes.

9.jpgRobert Kabot,
Head of Assortment Management Department of MV POLAND

2017 was a stable year for the entire vodka category. Within individual price segments, one could only notice slight changes of shares, but the main brands and manufacturers remained at their unchanged positions. Our flagship brand, Stumbras Centenary, dug in on the second position in the Top Premium segment, recording a double-digit volume growth in relation to the previous year. The first consumer promotion for this brand has shown there are still immense opportunities in the Stumbras brand. Consumers highly appreciate the quality and originality of this spirit. There has been further development of the sweet spirits segment with an alcohol volume of approx. 30%, serving as a substitute for vodka, although consumers started to pay more attention to the strength of the beverage they drink. More dry flavoured vodkas have also appeared.

Small-volume bottles (100 ml and 200 ml) remain a significant percentage of the sales volume all the time. Among industry events, for the first time in history, we had the Vodka and Snack Festival, at which all of the main manufacturers presented their products to consumers.
I wish you all the best in 2018!

11.jpgTomasz Kandefer,
President of the Board
Italmex Warszawa

For the FMCG sector, the end of every year is both a period of intense work before the holidays and a time for the first annual summaries. For Italmex, 2017 was a special year, being our jubilee. Consequently, the entire 25 years of propagation of the Mediterranean diet on the Polish market should be summed up. The products offered by Italmex – olive oils of the Italian brands Costa d’Oro and Basso, Italian Divella, Corticella and Baronia pasta, or Spanish Jolca olives are just a few of the wide range of products the Poles have been able to put on their tables for many, many years. Some of the brands we distribute have been present in Poland for more than 20 years, thanks to which, consumers have gained trust and have established a special bond with them. Each year, we expand our portfolio with new interesting products, coming mainly from the Mediterranean region. In 2004, we introduced the first Far Eastern rice oil. This was a true innovation. Year by year, there are more and more satisfied consumers of this oil, and we try to satisfy the customers with new interesting ideas. Such an innovative idea is the SoRiso line of flavoured rice oils. To meet the market demand and the growing fashion for health-promotion and BIO products, we have also expanded our offer with these goods. We wish our customers to have a healthy Christmas with their families and to continue making new culinary and taste discoveries.

13.jpgMarcin Grabowski
Sales Director
Velvet Care

2017 was a special year for Velvet Care; a year of two important jubilees. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Velvet brand and the 120th anniversary of the establishment of our plant in Klucze. We could not have imagined a better celebration than the results we have reached in 2017!

Traditionally, this was not simple, since the Polish market in our categories is characterized by very high competitiveness; however, owing to appropriate strategy, constant building of various pillars of business, and effective support, we have achieved significant growth again, exceeding 30%.

The heart of our company has invariably been Velvet – the first brand to have provided the Poles with soft cellulose products in all hygiene categories, 20 years ago. Last year, we invited our consumers for a joint celebration of the Velvet brand jubilee through participation in a birthday lottery (with a family car as the main prize) as well as many competitions dedicated to customers of individual trade chains. These activities brought us a 10% growth and reinforcement of our position as brand leader on the paper hygiene market.

The next foundation of growth was the development of our position in private labels. Since the moment of establishment of Velvet Care, we have treated the private label market as an opportunity for development, rather than a threat. This strategy works and it has helped us double our sales of private labels last year.

We are also successively developing export sales; last year, this brought us an increase by 25%. The last pillar of growth is our youngest child – professional products and Velvet Care Professional. This brand was introduced in 2016 and, as befits a young category, it records immense growth; we are consistently building a position of a firm player in this segment as well.

10.jpgJustyna Kiełkowska
Marketing Manager
Lakma Strefa

This year has been very busy for our company. Sidolux has been an unquestionable leader in floor maintenance for many years.* This honourable title and the largest market share do not allow us to rest on our laurels. Quite the contrary, it motivates us to work intensely for the purpose of further strengthening of our position and the adaptation of products to the changing needs of domestic consumers. Among the new products, we can boast the Perlux Perfume series of fabric softeners, inspired by aromas of perfume and the Ventin washing powder in gel; thanks to its gel structure, it combines the quickness of stain removal, typical of liquid, with the efficiency of a classic powder. The Sidolux brand has also expanded the range of its products, including the Sidolux M Na Wysoki Połysk – a modern, efficient preparation for cleaning and maintenance of lacquered furniture. October saw the start-up of an all-Polish consumer action combined with a marketing campaign, the first of such a scale for Lakma. The main goal for the activities is strengthening of the image of the leading brands: Sidolux and Perlux. Within this action, we inform the consumers for the first time that Sidolux has become number one among floor-cleaning products in Poland according to data by Nielsen*. This is a result of the consistently built technology and the quantity advantage of products as well as understanding of the demand of Polish customers. We have launched the Great Lottery in which, by buying products of both brands until the end of this December, customers can win Toyota Aygo Xplay cars and cash awards. The action is dedicated to all those who have been choosing Lakma products for years, but also to new customers whom we encourage to reach for our detergents and try them out.

*LAKMA Nielsen – Total Poland incl. Discounters Premium Read as a aggregate of: Hipermarkets; Supermarkets; Disconuters Premium Read – scanning; Boutuques; Large, Medium and Small Retailers, Newsstands, Gas Stations. Value sale share and volume sale share VII 2016-VI 2017. Category: Floor detergents.

16.jpgMichał Dworak
Sales Marketing Director
Inco Group

2017 was a successful year for the INCO Group. The Ludwik brand managed to strengthen its market position in the category of dishwashing liquids, gaining additional 2.5% of volume share in the market. This means that currently, almost ¼ of total tonnage of purchases in this category is made up by Ludwik dishwashing liquids (Nielsen data, JA2017).

We owe it to consumers thanks to which, for many years, Ludwik has been the most recognizable and most frequently chosen brand in this category (TGI, SMG KRC Jan-Sep 2017). In 2017, we have marketed many new products. In the category of dishwashing liquids, the offer of the Ludwik brand has been expanded by the Ludwik Premium line in 2 aromatic versions – lemon and pomegranate. In other categories, the Ludwik brand was enhanced by such products as the All Purpose Cleaner liquid spray as well as hypoallergenic washing tablets for sensitive skin and allergy sufferers. This year, as in the previous ones, our products have received many awards and distinctions. We take pride to know that Ludwik received the Superbrands 2018 and Superbrands Polska Marka 2018 distinctions in the category of household cleaning products. Additionally, Ludwik All in One dishwasher tablets were awarded the European Medal and the Hit FMCG Product distinction.

We are also proud of distinctions from our business partners who have appreciated our 1000 g mint dishwashing liquid, rewarding it with the Trade Hit 2017 and Golden Receipt 2017. We are glad for all these awards, since they reflect the consumers’ interest in our products.

10.jpgAleksander Batorski,
President of the Board
“Pszczółka” Candy Factory

This was unquestionably a very important and breakthrough year for the “Pszczółka” Candy Factory, but above all, this was a time of intense development and change. This applied to both image and brand communication – as we redefined its character and refreshened the visual identification system – but, above all, we have considerably developed our offer. The hitherto production has been expanded by brand new product categories – pralines, chocolate candies, and jellies. This would have been impossible without launching a modern production plant which started operating in June. Our new factory is equipped with automated machinery and devices from leading manufacturers on the European and global market. This process employed innovative solutions which have significantly improved the production of candies, additionally enabling modification of products depending on the market needs. Thanks to this investment, “Pszczółka” will compete with the largest companies of the chocolate industry and will expand its exports, among other things, to Western European territories. We wish to become a recognizable brand that will be associated with high-quality Polish products. We face new challenges and we will be overcoming them successively in the following year. I am convinced it will bring us even more opportunities and chances for further development.

21.jpgZbigniew Mojecki
Deputy President for Commercial Affairs WSP Społem

2017 may be described as a demanding year in general, both for manufacturers and for traders in the food industry. High competition, demographic changes, as well as the raw material market fluctuations significantly affected the general economic situation on the market. These conditions made no exception to the segment of wet condiments, in which we are one of the leaders. However, thanks to constant observation of the market, we have managed to finish this year with satisfactory results – both from the economical and trade viewpoint. Moreover, analyzing the period of the last 12 months, it is worth paying attention to the implementation of the plans assumed in the beginning of the year. Here, we can proudly say that we have fully accomplished our operational objectives, i.e. the introduction of several new products (including Sos Kielecki Meksykański or Ketchupik). Despite the difficult market situation, we have maintained the high growth rate of sales and we have expanded distribution, not just in Poland but abroad as well.

12.jpgKonrad Mickiewicz

At the BAŁTYK Chocolate Factory, 2017 was abundant in many innovations we had prepared for our customers. In the spring, we marketed the BossMan energy bars targeted at people who prefer an active lifestyle. These energy bars have gained much popularity among such groups as athletes and travellers. In this year, they had already been present at such events as the Polish and and European Sailing Championship, at ultramarathons, cross-country runs, the IronMan World Championship in Hawaii, and even at a polar expedition. In the second half of the year, we focused on new products in the confectionery segment. For children, we prepared the Tofi To “family” comprised of gluten-free candies and milk chocolate with double toffee filling. For older gourmets, this year’s hit of “Bałtyk” was surely our latest Nalewki Domowe liquor candies with cherry, quince and walnut liqueur flavours, as well as a new generation of coffee sweets. We have enclosed the taste of coffee within the new Brandy&Coffee chocolate, Mokka liquor candies and the Kofito chocolate “coffee beans”.

Due to the growing popularity and demand for our products, we opened an online store and another company store in the past year. We started online sales of the BossMan energy bars, and online purchase of our ready gift sets for many different occasions and celebrations will soon be possible. Our new stationary shop of “Bałtyk” was opened at the Batory shopping mall, one of the most frequented and most popular places in Gdynia.

6.jpgFilip Mielczarek
Sales Director and Member of the Board
NIVEA Polska

Studies show that the NIVEA cosmetics are found in almost three quarters of Polish houses. We are number one in market shares in eight out of the eleven categories in which NIVEA is present on the market. In 2017, we have introduced many new products, such as Q10 plus C face creams, an excellent Hairmilk hair care line that gains many industry awards, oils in body balms, a two-phase aftershave for men, we have also expanded the range of our hit shower mousses. Our classic NIVEA cream still remains a remarkable phenomenon. Its sales is comparable with food products, reaching, on average, 23 million pieces per year! The case is similar with NIVEA creams containing Coenzyme Q10. This was our innovation and the first mass-sold cosmetic with this ingredient. Although it has been functioning on the market for almost 20 years, it still remains highly popular, being purchased every 1.5 second, and now it has an even more effective formula enriched by vitamin C. Traditional trade remains strong. The largest share, in turn, is held by the drugstore channel. We can see the e-commerce channel increasingly developing, although its share in the market is still small. Hypermarkets and discount stores started changing their strategy – in 2016 and 2017, we have noticed their increased care for making the sales in the cosmetic part of their assortment more attractive.

However, it is known that the development of the retail trade in Poland will be dictated by the manner of shopping by our consumers.

2.jpgAlbert Cieślikiewicz
Marketing Director

The year of 2017 was successful for MAGO in many respects. We are glad we were able, along with our customers, to participate in events that will set the direction of trade development for the next years. An example of the special adaptation of a store model to changes in customers’ shopping preferences is the recently opened Carrefour Pro supermarket at the Centrum Promenada mall. Above all, for a substantial number of consumers, everyday shopping is an activity in which they wish to spend as little time as possible. They want to simplify these boring and repetitive activities and to perform them quickly, on the way. On the one hand, this is the source of the progressing digitization of the purchase process, of the growing share of online sales with home delivery or in the Click & Collect formula. On the other hand, consumers want to utilize e.g. their lunch break as effectively as possible with a combination of a quick and interesting meal and quick shopping. This is what this shop is about, and some shops of the future will be like this. This does not mean that only large players who can afford digital solutions, self-service boxes, etc. will remain on the market. I am glad to see that the number of small, family-run shops in Poland remains on an unchanged level, rather than decreasing. However, it is important that in order to ensure the future of those companies, their owners have to adapt their model of service to the changes in customer preferences. Therefore, self-service points with miniature self-service points will appear in small neighbourhood shops. Such a miniature check-out accelerates shopping. The shop can serve more customers within the same time. We will see these solutions in places with a very high customer attendance diversity during the day (proximity of offices), week or season (tourists, trips), and in places where shop owners know their customers by name. For their comfort and to ensure their loyalty, the owner will improve the manner of service, introducing quick payment points. As a leading manufacturer of shop equipment, we are ready to supply and service such devices, both to small recipients and to large chains.

With regard to storage, we expect an increase in the use of external spaces through the application of appropriate pallet racks. Setting up of external racks on an appropriately prepared square is an inexpensive and quick method for trade or production enterprises to increase storage capacity. We are the sole Polish manufacturer whose racks meet the stringent safety standards required for external storage.

7.jpgHubert Hozyasz
President of the Board
Market Monitoring Centre

The year of 2017 brought a slightly forgotten phenomenon back to Polish consumers, namely, an increase in prices. Not only butter, eggs and fruit became considerably more expensive in the past year, but one had to pay more for most food products than the year before. Higher prices translated into a several-percent growth in the turnover of small-sized shops in comparison with 2016, although the number of transactions slightly dropped at the time. The past year saw an increase in both the number of transactions and the value of sales of all the three categories of greatest importance for the small-sized trade, i.e. tobacco products, alcohol and beverages, generating in total more than 50% of the total sales value turnover in such stores. Early 2017 saw the appearance of new cigarette packages in sale, featuring pictures intended to discourage smokers. However, the data of the CMR show that small-sized shops with an area of up to 300 square meters recorded slight increases in the sales of cigarettes, both in terms of the number of packages and value, in comparison with the previous year, so that action could hardly be called successful. In the alcohol sector, the past year will be remembered for the price war between the three major brands of the mainstream segment, which later spread to the economic segment. The struggle for the customer between pure vodka brands did not hinder the development of the category of flavoured vodkas – in comparison with 2016, the value of their sales increased by nearly 20%. Manufacturers relentlessly search for new flavour combinations, and the shelf with this category is still expanding, due to which, customers of small-sized shops may already choose from an average of almost 50 flavoured vodka variants. In 2017, as in the previous years, the largest share in the turnover and the number of transactions in small-sized shops belonged to cigarettes, beer, vodka, carbonated drinks, juices, nectars and soft drinks, water, milk, cookies, chocolate, as well as impulse sweets and crisps. As evidenced by the cash receipt data collected by the CMR, customers of small-sized shops are increasingly eager each year to reach for products which are time-saving and easy to prepare, such as various ready meals; the interest in articles considered among the so-called healthy foods is also clearly on the rise.

3.jpgAndrzej Szumowski
President of the Board
Polish Vodka Association

2017 was a period of many challenges for the industry. In March, the parliament proclaimed it the “Year of Concern for the Sobriety of the Nation” and a time of wide debates concerning the excessive use of alcohol in Poland. Indeed, such seminars and debates were organized. These debates resulted in the emergence of new ideas to reduce the consumption of alcohol through even more restrictive laws specified in the Act on Upbringing in Sobriety. The discussion concerning the reduction of alcohol abuse is always useful but it should consider the remarks of all parties, including the experience of the alcohol industry. As these words are being written, it is still unknown how the established law will finally look like. Nevertheless, the proposal of limiting the hours and locations of the sale of alcohol would surely change the rules functioning on the Polish spirits market in the next year. In our opinion, this will definitely be to the detriment of the vast majority of customers who consume alcohol in a responsible way.

In our opinion, it is sufficient to educate people and observe the law already in force, being very stringent anyway. The most important demand of the spirits industry has been equal treatment of all alcoholic beverages. Alcohol contained in beer, wine or vodka has an identical effect on humans. Neither of them is better or worse than the other, so the law should treat them equally. Despite lively discussions concerning the law, the spirits market in 2017 stabilized at last after the immense turmoil caused by the 2014 increase in excise tax. Consumers are still predominantly purchasing products in the economy or mainstream categories. Nevertheless, we have recorded significant growth in the premium vodka segment. This is very good news, since Poles pay increasingly more attention to the raw materials of which vodka is made, to tradition and quality.

Here I will smoothly go to our protected geographical indication “Polish Vodka”, the awareness of which is slowly rising. Entry into the list of protected geographical indications means prestige, but also a guarantee of many centuries’ tradition and glorious history closed in a bottle with a “Polish Vodka” label. Increasingly often, this is also a hint for the consumer regarding which product on the shelf they should reach for. It is also worth stressing that the EU policy of promotion of food products is largely based on products protected by geographic designation.

5.jpgAdam Paluszyński,
The Founder
Soti Natural

In 2017, many chains of stores, restaurants or fitness clubs have made a strategic decision on adding a category of unsweetened functional teas in a comfortable SOTI Natural bottle. These chains included Netto, Stokrotka, Intermarché, Żabka, Auchan, Carrefour, and many others. The March 2017 introduction of bottled jasmine tea with a delicate taste, no calories and with only natural ingredients was an answer to the needs of consumers looking for an alternative to water, a beverage to give them more properties, to enhance immunity, energy, positively affect the figure and appearance.

For 2018, we wish that as many people as possible could benefit from the precise, 50-minute brewing process of SOTI Natural bottled teas.

18.jpgRenata Juszkiewicz
President of the Polish Organization of Trade and Distribution

2017 was dominated by legislative works on parliamentary acts that will be coming into force beginning in 2018 and will have a very significant impact on the industry in the following years. It will suffice to mention the battle for the Sunday trade, which has aroused much social discussion. Most European countries go in a slightly different direction than us – either having quite liberal regulations in this regard or liberalizing them right now. But this is not the only change. The Act on PIT and CIT, introducing a tax on commercial property with a value exceeding PLN 10 million (so-called mall tax), awaits the President’s signature. The new solution will apply to shopping malls, independent shops and boutiques or office buildings, and will surely affect the condition of many companies operating in the industry.

Representatives of different entities, both domestic and foreign, stress that the quickly and frequently changing legal environment is not favourable to development, to the building of a long-term strategy of presence on the Polish market, and particularly, to investments. Simultaneously, the increasingly stronger competition as well as changing consumer expectations and habits require constant investment, especially in new technologies. Trade chains attempt to reach their customers through many channels, as the traditional division between online and offline is already blurring. The future of trade is the omnichannel strategy, assuming both stationary and online sales, where customers expect to have access to their shopping from every location and on all mobile devices.

15.jpgMałgorzata Budzik,
Vice-President of the Board
Euroser Dairy Group

On the one hand, 2017 was a difficult year, especially for the dairy sector due to volatile prices, while on the other hand, it was a year of definite growth of hitherto dormant categories.

Whereas prices of butter have skyrocketed, prices of premium cheese maintained a fairly stable level, sometimes at the expense of the profitability of suppliers. To us, the past year was a hard time with regard to expected promotional prices – price competitiveness, beside the expected high quality, became nonetheless the leading factor necessary to succeed, also in the category of mozzarella or other fast-moving categories. A prominent role in this phenomenon was played by price competition between supermarkets and hypermarkets on the one hand and discount stores on the other.

An unquestionably positive trend for 2017 was the category of BIO products and the evident interest of customers in goat cheese. Bio cheeses have built a new category on shop shelves in 2017, and sliced goat cheese won a noticeable position on shelves and enjoys growing popularity. 2017 is also a year when a concept implemented by Euroser Dairy Group emerged in Poland – I mean the Fresh Pack Cheese Project, strengthening its position month by month and gaining increasingly new consumers. Despite all difficulties, the past year was very successful in our company; this was a year that enabled dynamic development and participation in the creation of new consumer trends.

14.jpgMarlena Sprada,
Vice-President of the Board
Gzella Poland

The closing year of 2017 has been a historical moment for Gzella in many respects, since the turnover considerably exceeded the envisaged plan of PLN 700 million. Of much significance for the development of the company and for such an excellent result was, above all, the expansion of cooperation with many significant trade chains, the customers of which express much interest in Gzella products. Year by year, the growing demand for cold cuts of our brands makes us perform successive multi-million investments in the modernization of the production plant and of the machinery. Aiming at satisfying the expectations of our long-term customers, we have decided to introduce a line of products without the E additives in the last quarter of this year – Sausage, Pork Loin and Ham, characterized by the so-called “clean label” and the taste of cold cuts known from long ago. These unique products perfectly reflect the spirit of the previous generations’ art of butchery, not only tasting deliciously but looking great on a holiday table. In the year to come, we intend to surprise our customers with completely new tastes, hoping they will become a favourite in the everyday diet of enthusiasts of high-meat cold cuts. I heartily wish all our readers, customers and contractors to have a merry and peaceful Christmas with their families, so the magic of small gestures could dominate this special period of 2018.

2.jpgKrzysztof Kouyoumdjian,
Director for External Affairs

The last year brought a long-awaited stabilization to the sector of spirits. After several years of downturn on the vodka market, caused by the January 2014 increase in excise tax, everything seems to indicate that the sales growth rate in 2017 will be similar as in the previous year, with a slight increase possible. One of the main directions of development of the spirits market is the increasing premiumization: Poles are increasingly eager to reach for spirits from a higher price segment. Over the last several months, many new products or variants of well-known vodka brands from the premium or superpremium segments have appeared on the market, including our previous year’s innovation Żubrówka Czarna. The industry is also developing valuable yet niche segments, often employing traditional recipes of Polish distillers, which may be exemplified by the recently marketed Soplica Przepalana. The spirits industry in Poland, represented by both large manufacturers and local liqueur or mead producers, strongly hopes for the regulatory environment to enable its further development, which will both translate to higher proceeds from the excise tax on sale of legal alcohol and enable significant increase of investment in the distribution and promotion of vodka brands on foreign markets. An ideal model is to make Polish vodka a product of global reputation and recognizability, as is the case with Scotch whisky or French cognac.

tagi: Polish fmcg market summary,