Honorata Jarocka
As a Senior Food & Drink Analyst, Honorata delivers actionable insight on food and drink trends and innovation, with a particular interest in health and wellness.

Mintel research shows that bread consumption is in decline across mature Western markets due to health concerns, the growth of gluten/wheat avoidance, and the ongoing expansion of alternative breakfast products. Mass-produced bread is also losing its appeal in Poland, and calorie concerns are of particular relevance, as indicated by over one third of Polish consumers who find the calorie content of bread to be too high.

On-the-go suitability and snackability is another issue. Mintel research reveals that many Polish consumers agree that bread is not convenient to eat outside of the home. This opens up opportunities for bread substitutes, such as crispbreads and rice cakes, to step up innovation efforts around both convenience and health to meet evolving consumer needs and expectations

Snacking has become central to brand development in the global food and drink market, but innovation activity in crispbreads has so far been more focused on health. In 2017, almost two fifths of global launches in this category featured wholegrain claims, whilst a third of new product development carried high in fiber descriptors.

Nonetheless, convenience-driven and snack-friendly innovation is gaining more steam in the crispbreads category, as illustrated by Poland’s Melvit. The company, which specialises in grain processing, made its way into crispbreads in the beginning of 2017. Its Crispy range (previously called Crisper) includes three varieties that add a creative twist to the traditional crispbread: spelt with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseed; millet with chia; and rye with tomatoes and basil. Each variety comes in various sizes of convenient single serve packs. As well as delivering on convenience, these new all-natural crispbreads are also a good source of fiber and protein, delivering health and snacking benefits.

Another interesting launch in the Polish market is Wasa Sandwich by Barilla. Offered in one portion packs containing two units, this creation is a mini sandwich concept based on wholegrain rye crispbreads with creamy fillings, like chives, herbs, and yogurt. For added convenience, refrigerated storage is not required.

Having embraced the convenience angle, Barilla’s Wasa is also looking to find resonance with Polish consumers by experimenting with product shapes and textures. Two of its launches, Wasa Delicate Thin Crisp and Wasa Rounds, have already injected variety into the Polish crispbreads category with innovative thin and round formats. What’s more, attempts have been made to enhance nutrition and quality with sourdough leavening, as seen in the example of Wasa Surdeg which comes in two variants: rye and multi-grain.

The speeding up of modern lifestyles favours more convenient alternatives to bread. This creates an area of further opportunity for bread substitutes such as crispbreads. In particular, there exists further development potential for Polish crispbread brands to attract non-users and create new consumption occasions, for example by innovating with fruit and vegetable ingredients to bring extra nutritional value and to boost visual appeal or by experimenting with sweet flavour notes to provide consumers with permissibly indulgent options.

Honorata Jarocka joined Mintel in 2013 and is a Senior Food and Drink Analyst for Poland. Her area of particular interest is health and wellness trends as well as innovative product concepts within the Polish food and drink industry and also in the wider Eastern European region. With over 10 years of experience in market research, Honorata has worked on a number of projects, including food and drink, retailing, beauty and personal care, home care, tissue and hygiene, consumer health, tobacco as well as pet food and pet care products. Beyond her market research expertise, Honorata has been responsible for marketing and promotional activities whilst working for some of the most prominent companies in Poland. These include LPP, Oceanic and the advertising agency Tequila\Polska (previously Tequila\BTL Group). Honorata is a member of PTBRiO (Polskie Towarzystwo Badaczy Rynku i Opinii – Polish Society for Opinion and Marketing Research) and a regular speaker at industry events.