Friday, 11 May 2012

Polish Foodservice: The Future of Foodservice to 2016

London, May 11th, 2012 Within the foodservice industry, the profit sector accounted for a 78.1% share of total foodservice sales in 2011 and registered growth of CAGR 2.84% during the review period. In 2011, the cost sector represented 21.9% of total foodservice sales and registered a CAGR of 1.33% during the review period (reference see graph below).  Restaurants were the largest contributor to total foodservice sales in the country, with a share of 41.4% in 2011. The largest channel in the cost sector was healthcare foodservices, which contributed 41.9% of total cost sector sales.

GDP growth in Poland during the last decade, despite the global economic crisis, provides the platform for the country’s foodservice sector to grow robustly. Poland was one of the very few EU members which were able to avoid a recession in 2008–2009.

After decades of restrictions on private consumption and scarcity of food supplies, Polish consumers are enjoying the early days of consumerism, which is boosted by higher employment and remittances by migrants abroad. The unemployment rate in Poland has been steadily falling from 17-18% levels in 2004-2005, down to 7% in 2008. However, during the crisis years, it rose again from 12.4% in 2011 to 13.2% in January 2012. With the economy expected to grow steadily and create more jobs, the unemployment rate is expected to progressively decline from 2012 onward.

Rising exports of manufactured goods and services, an increased FDI inflow, and a boom in infrastructure have all supported the steady increase in the purchasing power of Polish consumers. This is further boosted by the privatization of major state-owned companies. The public sector’s share in all manufacturing and industrial segments of Poland is large. To reduce this involvement and to increase efficiency, major state-owned companies are being privatized through stake sales in the stock market.  Along with a liberal law on establishing new firms, this has enabled the development of an aggressive private sector, which is competitive enough to export manufactured goods across Europe. These factors have led to higher wages and the Polish consumer had an average purchasing power.

In 2012, the Polish zloty showed strong growth against the euro, of 8.8%, and has been strong against the dollar since 2010, gaining 8.7% in 2012. A stronger currency will help to bring down the cost of food and other commodity imports. The Polish government’s ability to manage its currency has helped the economy through cheaper imports.

With a meagre population growth rate of 0.08%, the Polish population has been stagnant over the last decade. The transformation of Poland from a communist economy to a market-oriented economy, and its entry into the EU, have had a profound effect on demographics. In the early days of opening up of the economy, there was a steady migration of the working age population in search of better prospects in Western Europe. However, that trend is declining and with the rapid progress in the country’s economy, skilled workers are returning to find opportunities in a growing economy at home.

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