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Eric van Buuren (Total Produce) on Poland:

"Whereas 30-40% goes through retail in Poland at the moment, this will increase to 70-80%"

Not long ago Eric van Buuren - seller for Total Produce - visited Poland to go around a few of his buyers on the wholesale market. Eric has seen the developments the country has gone through in recent years with his own eyes. "After the fall of the communist regime the buyers drove to western Europe with their cars to buy the first products. Nowadays the trucks run up and down to bring fruit and vegetables to the Polish market," He says in the Total Produce newsletter.

Van Buuren emphasizes that the demands people make for fruit on the wholesale market is culturally based. Whereas in the UK consumers prefer as green a grape as possible, in Poland the preference is for a more amber colour. "You can see that in Poland the presentation of your product sets you apart from the next person. Besides quality and prices the packaging also plays an important role. There is also an increasing demand for more luxury products and ready-to-eat concepts visible over the last few years."

Change in taste
Whereas in the past an evening meal would consist of a starter, main and dessert dish, there is now increasing variation in the eating habits of the Polish consumer. "The demand for exotic products is steered by the consumer's interest in foreign dishes. Preparing these 'foreign dishes' causes a shift in the use of ingredients and increase of other products other than those necessary for the 'traditional' dishes."

Advance of the retail
Another development is the advance of the retail compared to the wholesale. "Whereas 30-40% is done through retail at the moment, this will increase to 70-80% of the total market in the future, according to Eric. This means that a lot of the small, authentic stall alongside the road will slowly disappear from the city image. In 2013 the total turnover of retail was € 87.1 billion and will increase to € 102.3 billion in 2016 (source: IGD).

Parties such as Biedrinka (7.7 billion, 20.3% market share), Schwarz Group (3.9 billion, 10.4%) and Auchan (1.6 billion 4.2%) are the main player in this. Strong growth is to be expected from convenience (Carrefour and Zabka) and discount (Biedronka) in the future.

Poland, a country where customer needs are changing, retail is taking flight and challenges are arising due to the Russian boycott. The country is also full of chances, and Total Produce wants to work with the above mentioned development and foresee the consumer of a product that matches their needs perfectly, now and in the future.

Source: Total Produce

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