Plant-based meat and dairy alternatives – Polish market landscape

Poland with its meat-oriented culture opens up to plant-forward eating.

Even though, looking through the historical perspective, Polish diet has always been based on grains and root vegetables, Poles' affair with barbecue, pork chop and other meat-based dishes is obvious. However, what would seem abstract a couple years ago becomes a reality in Poland today – the plant-based boom has hit and there are multiple reasons to back the opinion that it should be considered rather a longterm mainstream tendency rather than a phase. Many arguments prove that it would not be an understatement to put Poland on European map of plant-based boom along Germany, Netherlands or the United Kingdom. The rising flexitarian population, the restaurant business open to plant-based cuisine, the manufacturers expanding their product portfolios with innovative plant-based products make only a few arguments for Poland being the hot-spot for food innovation in 2020.

With growing consumer demand for more sustainable and healthy products, food producers are keeping up the pace with new plant-based launches in meat and dairy alternative categories  – rather than a trend, new consumer and product segments in the making can be observed. While most of the attention stacks-up at US, British and German markets, Poland has been witnessing its plant-based momentum in 2020 as well.

vegan burger

According to various research, approximately 25 to 40% actively reduce their meat consumption. 73% Poles are up to introduce plant-based meat alternatives and decrease their meat intake when such products would meet their needs – consumers expect that meat-alternatives are healthy, affordable and taste similarly or better than their meat originators. More importantly, 2020 has been so far a year for multiple food industry stakeholders to react to that high interest in meat alternatives in Poland. Meat-processing firms, start-ups, multinational companies, local producers as well as retailers with their private label brands have been shaping the category extensively.

youghurt with berries

According to research firm Nielsen, sales of plant-based dairy products have increased by 26% in 2019. With brands such as Alpro or Upfield expanding its presence in Poland, one can expect not only the marketing budgets to grow, but also whole plant-based dairy to benefit as more and more consumers are exposed to dairy alternatives. Moreover, Polish companies are taking bold steps towards plant-based production. Jogurty Magda, a company with almost 30 years of experience in dairy processing transitioned to fully plant-based production in 2020 and now offers a variety of plant-based yoghurts.

Growing population of flexitarians, increased interest in plant-based foods coming from retailers and producers along with other factors can possibly create an explosive mix and elevate the popularity of more plant-forward eating to the next levels, also in Poland.

With a population of 38 millions and multiple efforts to normalize plant-based eating, Polish market presents an opportunity for plant-based meat and dairy producers as the categories are only starting to take shape. Considering the possible shift from meat and dairy towards its plant-based alternatives, even the portion of the 17,9 billion EUR Polish meat processing market makes the opportunity attention-worthy.

The whole report on the plant based replacements of meat and dairy market in Poland you can find here.

Maciej Otrębski

Beeld: NL embassy Poland

Alternative protein products - Online mission to Poland

On 7-8 October the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands organizes an online mission to Poland on alternative proteins.

The program will be fully provided online and includes:

  • Online matchmaking with Polish retailers;
  • Webinar about the Polish food market;
  • Online visit of Plant Powered Perspectives conference
  • Virual tour of Polish retailers with focus on the vegetarian products segment.

The deadline to subscribe for the mission has passed. Would you as Dutch company however be interested to join the webinar, you can subscribe via

Details of the mission you can find here.