In Poland, jam makes up an important part of many people’s daily eating habits, mainly during breakfast. However, jam is spreading outside the first meal of the day and into home cooking, allowing scope for flavour innovation.

Polish consumers are keen on home cooking and recently the activity has become more fashionable, leading more people to look to create jams and confiture at home. This cooking craze has become an inspiration for innovation, including launches of new flavours and ingredients, as well as the promotion of firm favourites with traditional recipes.

Jams, conserves and marmalades are eaten by almost eight in 10 (78%) Polish consumers, making it the most popular type of sweet spread eaten in the country. Historically, Polish consumers had a great affinity for making jams or confiture at home, though an increased lifestyle pace led to most consumers trading homemade jams for those you can buy in store.

Some 74% of Polish consumers eat sweet spreads as part of breakfast, making this by far the most popular usage occasion. The second most popular occasion in which sweet spreads are eaten in Poland is in baking at 36% and as a mid morning snack at 36%. As well as this, nearly one in five (17%) Polish consumers use sweet spreads in cooking.

Significantly, the growing fashion for home cooking in Poland is reversing consumer habits back to experimentation in the kitchen, reviving the tradition of preparing jams or confiture at home. This is being fuelled further by a nostalgic reminiscence of childhood tastes and by cooking shows, blogs and books promoting the practise, as well as the opportunity it provides for consumers to save some money.

74% of Polish consumers eat sweet spreads as part of breakfast, making this by far the most popular usage occasion

With home prepared jams or confiture now on the menu for many in Poland, the switch has had a negative impact on the performance of this product category at retail level. Both in retail value and volume terms, jam sales struggled between 2012 and 2013, with retail volume falling 5.1% and retail value falling 1.6%. The competition from a growing variety of products targeting breakfast eating occasions, such as breakfast cereal, biscuits or dairy products is also a factor in the poor performance of jams.

Jam manufacturers have responded by intensifying their product launch activity in order to regain positive growth rates and many have also upped their marketing campaigns in order to drive impulse jam purchases.

The combination of new tastes and ingredients is the most widely used strategy for new launches. Innovations are also coupled with an emphasis on “homemade”, “homestyle” or “just like home” recipes, lessening the guilt consumers may feel when buying prepared food alternatives to homemade jams. An example of this is Nasze domowe (Our homemade) brand by Premium Rosa Sp. z o. o, which use traditional ways and recipes to make jams, pickled vegetables and beverage concentrates. “Home” references often intersect with premium, which can denote a higher quality, providing a feeling of a better made product.

Although strawberry remains the top flavour of jam launched in Poland since 2009, with 15% of new product launches, branching out into more innovative ingredient combinations can help to attract consumers, even those who are enthusiastic about homemade jams – as they might provide new and unusual taste experiences and flavour combinations. Examples of such flavours are fig and raisin, pineapple, mango and maracuja and elderberry and rhubarb.

This is further aided by the fact that Polish consumers, more than any other European country, like to be able to choose from a wide variety of sweet spread flavours. With over half (51%) of Polish consumers saying this, they are the most likely of any other European country surveyed to think this. Hence, opportunities exist to explore unique combinations on a larger scale. The market is open to more flavour innovation given consumer interest in new or more adventurous flavours. There is scope for further new product flavour development that could see brands branching out into tastes that are more adult orientated. For example, options that use spices, alcohol and fruit flavour choices with honey for extra indulgence.

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