Poland, brief agricultural news week 38, 2019
What happened in Poland last week? A brief overview of agricultural news.
Low quality potatoes in Poland
As result of drought also potato yield is low in Poland this year. The starch amount in tubers is relatively high but tubers themselves are relatively small, in many cases also the presence of powdery scab was found. Therefore the trade harvest is relatively low, which has natural consequence in the potato prices. Local processors will be forced to import potatoes from other countries where the harvest was higher and prices relatively lower compared to local prices. This however probably won’t affect high potato prices in Poland as the demand for potatoes exceeds the production. Producers of potatoes complain also for the relatively high amount of rotting tubers which will probably result in low storage stability of this year’s harvest.
Prospects for vending machines in Poland
The sale of food from vending machines in Poland is almost PLN 1 billion. The market is growing faster and faster. The number of devices used to sell drinks, snacks or sandwiches is estimated at around 70,000, but is growing by several thousand a year. Although Poland is far behind Japan or South Korea, vending machines are also entering completely new products in Poland.
The company Maczfit, the leader of the dietetic catering market in Poland, is preparing a revolution on the market. The company provides homes and offices with the box diets offer but now they have just started a new project, launching the first vending machines where Poles can buy dietary dishes. The devices also have the option of heating the meal and picking up cutlery. One device can hold up to 150 dishes and the company wants to place the machines mainly in office buildings, but also in schools and gym clubs. The company focuses on healthy food, not fast food, which meets catering trends. GfK research shows that 60 percent of Poles eat in restaurants or food outlets. Annually, the number increases by 20 percent and the value of the HoReCa market (hotels, restaurants, catering) in Poland is estimated at 30.9 billion, and according to analysts of PMR, in last 12 months, the market grew by 7%. The food orders market alone amounted to nearly PLN 6 billion last year, which is about 25% of restaurants’ turnover and is growing by 10% every year. Last year, the average monthly expenses in restaurants exceeded PLN 100 for the first time.
The vending market in Poland is still under development with good prospects for the future, according to Nielsen’s research. As much as 59% of Poles use such machines once a month or more, and a quarter do it at least once a week. The percentage of users is very high, only 16% strongly denied that they had ever used this form of buying food products. By far the most supporters are among younger customers. Every fourth child buys a snack for lunch or dinner. Purchasing from a machine is faster, so nearly half of the consumers decide to buy from it instead of a nearby store. In terms of market saturation, Poland performs poorly. According to Euromonitor, there are less than one machine per 1,000 inhabitants, while in France or Italy there are several times more. There are also no pharmacy or tobacco machines in Poland which are very popular in other countries. The industry estimates that in 2019 the market value will be at least PLN 900 million. Prospects are promising, and consumers expect machines with drinks and food to appear in new places. Nielsen's research indicates especially locations such as: stations, public transport stops, offices and hospitals. When the catering industry suffers from a shortage of work, and the shopping centers struggle with less traffic due to the Sunday ban, the automation of serving meals allows the industry to grow and reduce rising costs, including personnel costs. Rapidly rising labor costs and the announced by the Polish government radical increase in the minimum wage, are forcing companies to automate. Therefore, the automation in Polish companies is already underway and it will continue.
Food quality- new regulations?
Polish government proposed a change of regulations with regard to control of the quality of food products in Poland. The aim of the change is to shift the responsibility for the control of food quality from two inspections to one only: Agricultural and Food Quality Inspection (IJHARS). IJHARS controls now the production process and products entering the Polish border. The responsibility for the control of the products in the retail, restaurants and catering lies at the Trade Inspection. The other reason of the change is that both inspections are organs of two different governing bodies (Ministry of Agriculture and Office of the Competition and Consumer Protection). The change will allow faster and more accurate reaction towards irregularities on the market.
The new regulation will come into force as from the January 1st 2020.