Poland biggest exporter of chocolate in CEE and fourth in the world – and it’s eating more of it too!
Poland is the biggest exporter of chocolate in the CEE region, and the fourth largest in the world, says new research.
According to ‘The Global and the Polish chocolate market’ report commissioned by Polish chocolate brand Wedel with data from NielsenIQ, last year the value of Polish chocolate sales abroad was 2.08 billion dollars, a 7.3 percent share of world exports, with only Germany, Belgium and Italy ahead.
Poland noted the world’s fastest rise in chocolate exports in 2020 at over 13 percent year on year, rising twice as fast as French (6.8 percent) and Austrian (6.6 percent) exports the same year.
Maciej Herman, managing director of Lotte Wedel said: “The Polish confectionary market – worth around 12 billion PLN – has in the last years equalled itself with the vodka market and is now only behind the beer market.”
He added: “Polish chocolate is held in high regard abroad for its quality”.
Poland is also the largest exporter of chocolate in Central and Eastern Europe and has the region’s largest chocolate industry, with 50 percent of the market dominated by three firms: Lotte Wedel, Mondelez and Ferrero.
Aleksandra Kusz vel Sobczuk, Corporate Communications Manager at Wedel, said: “The Polish chocolate market is now highly saturated so a very important strategic direction is export.”
In addition to a rise in exports, over the last 10 years, Poles have also increased their consumption of chocolate by 30 percent since 2007.
According to Euromonitor International, the average Pole now eats 5.2kg of chocolate, a rise of 400g from 2010 (4.8kg) and a huge 1.2kg increase from 2007, when the average Pole only ate 4kg of chocolate.
Calculated in terms of spending, Poles now spend an average of 190 PLN a year on chocolate products, with chocolate tablets the most popular (28.2 percent), followed by pralines (27.2 percent).
The chocolate tablet sector in Poland is worth over 2 billion PLN with two-thirds of that taken up by milk chocolate and a fifth by dark chocolate, though the sales of dark chocolate rose during the pandemic.
Wedel’s Kusz vel Sobczuk, said: “The picture of the levels of popularity of different varieties of chocolate tablets hasn’t changed for many years now – milk is the unwavering favourite chocolate of Poles.
“This doesn’t however mean that we aren’t open to new things, which are the driving force of development of the Polish confectionary market.
“It can be seen clearly on shop shelves with the countless numbers of flavour varieties, especially in the case of chocolate tablets – filled, with extra pieces or fillings, what is evident among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe – consumers can choose from hundreds of variants of chocolate.”
Current average levels of consumption in Poland remain steady, but are still a little lower than the 5.3kg record registered in Poland in 2014 and 2019 and are lower than the average chocolate consumption for Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the UK , Sweden and Denmark, with Germany and Austria both leading the field at 8.3kg of chocolate eaten per person.
Despite the pandemic, the market for chocolate products in Poland has been growing and was worth 7.65 billion PLN in the period from July 2020 to June 2021, a rise of 0.5 percent on the previous period and with production in the first half of 2021 maintaining a similar level to the same production period for 2020.