Ready-to-eat meals market in Poland is stable in difficult times
The ready-to-eat meals market in Poland is growing rapidly, being in a relatively early phase of development. In 2021, this market (excluding frozen food) was worth PLN 2.6bn, according to PMR’s report “Food to Go retail market in Poland 2022. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2022-2027”.
The market of ready meals is less dependent on social mobility than the market of bakery snacks or in-store food service. What is more, the COVID-19 pandemic additionally boosted sales in this category. The manufacturers that PMR interviewed for the purposes of the report emphasised that in the short term the ready-to-eat meals category, as pre-packed food, was seen as a safe alternative to the HoReCa offering and a convenient option for stocking up on food. Still in January 2022, 29% of respondents declared that they generally had a stock of ready meals at home.
Based on PMR’s forecasts, the market value will be growing at a compound annual rate of 7.0% (CAGR 2022-2027). In the opinion of PMR’s econometricians, the impact of the war in Ukraine directly on the ready-to-eat meals market, though still hard to predict at the moment, should be moderate and will be marked by a higher nominal market growth rate (as a result of higher prices, above all for food) and a lower real growth rate (due to a more sluggish demand).
Find comprehensive information about the current state of the Polish Food to Go market in the PMR report:
Poles like traditional cuisine
The most frequently purchased category of ready meals are pre-made cold dishes (pierogi dumplings, croquettes or pancakes), according to a survey conducted by PMR in late December 2021 and early January 2022. These types of products are most frequently bought by people in the 25-34 age group (46%), and are least frequently bought by people under 25 (37%). The larger the locality, the more often consumers reach for pre-made cold dishes. These products are included in the regular offering of most grocery chains and some larger bakeries, and are in line with Poles’ preference for traditional cuisine: 52% of respondents declare that when buying ready-made dishes, they prefer home and traditional cuisine to typical fast-food dishes. Respondents aged 50 and over particularly agreed with this statement.
For 61% of the surveyed, discount stores are the most common place to buy pre-made cold dishes. This format also ranked first for other ready-meal categories analysed, with the smallest dominance for ready-meal sets (Polish and world cuisine). According to PMR’s estimates, discount stores account for more than a half of ready meal sales in Poland. This trend will continue until the end of the forecast period.
For the purposes of the report, “Food to Go retail market in Poland 2022. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2022-2027”, at the turn of December 2021 and January 2022, PMR conducted a quantitative study on a sample of 2,122 adult Poles, using the CAWI web interview technique. Random-quota sampling was used, reflecting the available data on the general population of adult Poles, such as age, gender, size of locality of residence, education and household size. The food-to-go category, as defined by PMR, includes products prepared hot at the point of sale and sweet and savoury bakery products classified together as (ready-to-eat) products and ready-to-eat dishes that do not need to be boiled or thawed (ready-to-serve), excluding baby food.
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Senior Retail Analyst