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.

As Polish consumers lead increasingly busy lives, all-day snacking is replacing sit-down meals. Food and drink brands are responding to this with a variety of convenient and nutritious grab-and-go options. Snack bars in particular fit in well with this trend, delivering not only on portability but also on health and indulgence.

Mintel research shows that as many as seven in 10 Poles view snack bars as a great on-the-go breakfast option. As a result the pace of innovation in the Polish snack bar market has increased in recent years, reflecting ongoing efforts to address the evolving needs of today’s consumers.

Snack bar launches Poland

In an attempt to engage with health-driven snackers in Poland, in March 2016 an original invention – raw snack bars enriched with chlorella – were brought to market by a local player Purella Food. The new range, offered under the name Chlorella Natural Energy Bar, comprises three varieties – Nut, Cranberry and Orange – all of which are 100% natural and raw, as well as free from added sugar, soya, gluten and lactose. Each bar also contains ‘superfood’ ingredients, for example camu camu, baobab and goji berry – capitalising on the appeal of superfoods globally.

Purella Food is on a mission to popularise chlorella as a nutrient-dense green food in Poland and is very active in terms of promotion, devoting special attention to the use of social media. The key claims used on Purella Food’s products revolve around chlorella’s detoxifying, energy boosting and immunity enhancing properties.

Interest in health-positioned snack bars is strong in Poland

Despite its nutrient density, chlorella remains a relatively rare ingredient in new snack bar launches across the global market, being featured in less than 1% of new product introductions between March 2013 and February 2016. The US accounted for the majority of chlorella-enriched launches (70%), followed by Canada (17%) and Finland (9%). Spirulina, in comparison, saw a slightly more frequent use in global snack bar launches within the same time frame, however still accounting for only 1% of total new product development.

Nonetheless, chlorella and other supergreen ingredients are well placed to see more frequent use in the Polish snack bar category given the considerable consumer interest in healthier grab-and-go offerings. As many as seven in 10 express an interest in a broader selection of snack bars with added health benefits and the same proportion of respondents would be willing to pay more for snack bars with natural ingredients.

Leveraging the high protein platform also appears to be a viable strategy to adopt as half of Polish consumers request more snack bars which are rich in protein. Moreover, ‘free from gluten’ claims appeal to two in five snack bar consumers in Poland. On that basis, more snack bar brands are likely to follow in the footsteps of Purella Food and experiment with ‘supergreens’, however heavyweight promotional support would be required due to the niche status of such ingredients.

Honorata joined Mintel in 2013 as a Food and Drink Analyst for Poland. Her focus area is food categories with a particular interest in health and wellness trends as well as product innovations. With almost a decade of previous experience in market research, Honorata has analysed various sectors in Poland, including packaged food, retailing, beauty and personal care, home care, tissue and hygiene; consumer health, tobacco, pet food and pet care products.