Based on feedback received from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) based in the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw (following referred to as “Post”), the Polish market remains the most promising trading destination in the Eastern European region. As the strongest economy in the area, the market is not only important because of its domestic consumption but also as home to one of the most productive processing industries in Europe, making it an interesting target for American raw material as well as processed food suppliers. In the past trade year, direct food imports from the U.S. to Poland were valued at US$566 million. Looking at this figure, it is important to keep in mind that a significant percentage of American goods exported to Europe are entering the EU through traditional gateway markets like the Netherlands, Belgium, or Germany. From these trading hubs, products are trucked across the continent ending up in their destination markets like Poland. These items do not show in the external trading figures between the country and the U.S. but make up a considerable volume. Therefore, the overall value of food and beverage products from the U.S. that are consumed and handled within Poland exceeds the mentioned value.
As briefly addressed, Poland is a processing powerhouse in the EU, especially for fish and seafood, as well as private label products meant for other EU countries that are of high importance for American producers. Therefore, fish and seafood as well as tree nuts, dried fruits and ingredients for the baking industry can be considered promising commodities.
Economic performance in the past year was solid and the market reported a GDP growth of 5.9%, reflecting the overall upswing after the pandemic. Currently, Poland is directly affected by the war in Ukraine resulting in high numbers of refugees crossing the border. At the same time, the general energy crisis is putting pressure on many processors and high inflation is limiting household spending. However, these are considered temporary challenges; overall, the country is one of the fastest evolving markets in Europe.
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After two years of overperformance during the pandemic, the retail sector took a hit in 2022 due to rising consumer prices and, resulting from that, more cautious spending of shoppers. This is a development that could be observed in all European markets. However, there were also some sectors that benefited. While full-assortment retailers saw declining sales, discounters and e-commerce came out stronger. In 2022, the number of e-commerce operations increased by 10.7%. In the scope of a strong year in the discount sector, private label products and home brands recorded increased demand. It is expected that this trend will continue in 2023 until inflation calms down and prices decline again.
Best Product Prospects:
Top product prospects include wine and spirits, processed seafood (mainly in the convenience segment), breakfast cereals, healthy snacks including nuts and dried fruits, as well as condiments, confectionery, and vegetables. The market for American products in Polish retail is not at all saturated and consumer trends will contribute to new opportunities.
Best Product Prospects:
Top product prospects include fish and seafood, wine, and fruits and vegetables.
Best Product Prospects:
Top product prospects include finfish, tree nuts and dried fruits, and certain fats and oils.
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