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Organic food: Poland’s fastest growing food market

For the past several years, something of an eco-food revolution has been underway in Poland. Polish consumers are increasingly health conscious, which means more organic produce is being consumed and enjoyed in Poland than ever before.

Polish demand for organic foods is growing roughly 20% year-on-year. 2015 was a banner year for eco-food in Poland as consumers spent approximately $191 million on organically produced foodstuffs.

The Polish market is relatively underdeveloped, when compared with regions such as Western Europe, where organic food accounts for 2-6% of total food markets, but growth is appropriately healthy. If current demand continues, 1% of Poland’s entire food market could be organic by 2022. In pure monetary terms, this means eco-food in Poland would be worth approximately $5 billion.

Leading organic retailers, such as Bio Planet, have reported increases in sales. Bio Planet alone stated monthly sales for May 2016 grew 40% compared with 2015’s levels, hitting $2.3 million.

What is driving this health food craze? Polish consumers are increasingly on the lookout for naturally produced, GM & additive free offerings. According to a report from research firm Mintel, 64% of Polish adults say they are actively reducing their intake of sugary foods. A further 57% expressed concerns about artificial sweeteners – all signs pointing towards a boom in the consumption of organically produced products. 

The Government is throwing its weight behind this eco-food drive. Many Polish farmers are eligible for significant grants for the production of organic food, and this has paid off in spades. There are currently over 25,000 certified organic farms in Poland – a major step up from 2011’s levels, where there were just 1,100 eco-farms across the country. 

Poland is also one of 14 European nations to officially ban the production and sale of genetically modified foods, ably showing the nation’s determination to eat healthy. Poles regularly take a keen interest in the providence of their food, paying close attention to labels, certificates and often seek advice from dieticians. Such a health-conscious consumer base is ideal for producers of organic food, with Poland quickly becoming the region’s eco-food nation of choice for exporters.

As Polish consumers become more familiar with international cuisine and ingredients, imports of organic products are expected to increase in coming years. Currently, the hot import products on the Polish eco-food market include exotic fruits, spring vegetables, pre-processed products and tea and coffee. 

The growing prevalence of health food across Poland lead to the 2016 edition of WorldFood Warsaw launching its inaugural EcoFood Zone section, designed to connect suppliers and buyers in the organic and health food sector.  

One full day of Worldfood Warsaw was set aside for the promotion of EcoFood too, showing the huge level of interest in health food emanating from Poland’s food industry. 

WorldFood Moscow 2015 saw 42% of visitors looking to connect with suppliers of health food products, showing the major role trade shows are playing in nurturing Poland’s burgeoning organic food sector. Interested in attending WorldFood Warsaw? Learn more about the event here.

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