Polish consumers love to snack. According to Mintel’s consumer research, respectively 52% and 50% of Polish consumers claim that they typically eat crisps, nuts and salty snacks as an evening snack and as an afternoon snack.

Over-consumption of such snacks though is contributing to a growing obesity problem in Poland. According to OECD research, in 2011 the rate of obesity reached 16% of the population. Moreover, a UNICEF report states that Polish children are getting obese at the fastest rate in Europe.

With many people equating snack food with junk food, there is a growing opportunity for healthy snacks, or portable versions of healthy foods. Snacking has been shown to help reduce dietary intake and in fact aid weight loss, when it is done properly, as it can help maintain energy levels and reduce the amount of food eaten at subsequent meals, leading to an overall reduction in food and calorie consumption. Snack consumption can also help to meet daily nutritional needs, if snacks are vegetables or fruits and are being consumed in moderate quantities.

Healthy snacks are still somewhat an undeveloped segment in Poland. However, together with a growing consumer understanding of the benefits of a healthier diet, the number of healthy snacks appearing on shelf in Poland is growing slowly.

Grupa Maspex Wadowice is aiming to take advantage and explore this healthy snacking opportunity by launching Fruktajl, a sugar-free fruit cocktail, which comes in four varieties and is packed in a convenient 250ml PET bottle for on-the-go consumption. The product is positioned as a liquid fruit snack.

Fruktajl from Tymbark

New Fruktajl from Tymbark

Maspex is the leading manufacturer of juices, nectars and soft drinks in Poland. In 2012 it accounted for 37% and 40% respectively of retail volume and value share. Brands such as Tymbark, Kubuś (Tedi) and Caprio are well known in Poland and sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.

However, it is important to note that despite growing interest in healthy snacking, taste and indulgence are the main drivers of snack choice. More than six in 10 Polish consumers, for example, claim that flavour is more important than calorie content, when thinking about crisps, nuts and other salty snacks.

Thus there is a fine balance to be achieved between health and indulgence in snack categories. Indeed, finding the right balance can be challenging for European snackers so more disruptive initiatives, similar to Tymbark’s Fruktajl, which are tapping into the demand for healthy snacks, but are coming from non-typical snack product categories could strike a balance.

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Regina Maiseviciute joined Mintel in 2013 as a Food and Drink Analyst for Poland. As a part of the Mintel Food and Drink team, she tracks new innovation, consumer trends and market development activity in Poland. Regina brings over 10 years of experience working in leading market research and strategic analysis agencies, where she has provided insights and strategic recommendations to leading global FMCG organisations and packaging manufacturers, retailers and governmental bodies within Eastern Europe and also globally.

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