Polish-food products get export boost from supermarket chains

Lidl’s Polish-made products have been a hit with foreign consumers. KOCA SULEJMANOVIC/PAP/EPA

In-house supermarket brands that are made in Poland have become hits outside the country, boosting Polish exports.

Last year alone, Lidl’s export of brands such as Pilos, Bluedino or Cien, produced in Poland especially for the chain, was worth as much as PLN 3.1 billion, making Lidl the biggest exporter of Polish food products.

Compared to 2018, it is an increase of PLN 600 million. By sending the products from 241 producers to 25 countries with Lidl stores, the company’s supporting the expansion of Polish businesses abroad.

The German chain sells a number of Polish-made products.SHAWN THEW/PAP/EPA

The largest recipients of Polish products are Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary.

What makes this type export so attractive is the availability of distribution points. With over 10,000 stores across Europe, the German company can ensure the Polish producers that their products will be on offer in its networks of shops.

The company Serpol Cosmetics, which produces household chemicals and cosmetics under the Cien brand, is one firm that has benefited for cooperating with Lidl. Aleksandra Robaszkiewicz, Lidl’s spokesperson, said: “Its products can be found in shops in Poland, but also abroad. Thanks to this cooperation, the company recorded an increase in sales of 78 percent in volume compared to the average monthly sales achieved in 2019.”

Foreign chains have provided a lucrative line of business for Polish producers.Marcin Bednarski/PAP

Producers partnering with international chain stores are expecting further growth. Mlekowita, a dairy products company which already supplies Lidl with yoghurt, cheese, and butter for the Lithuanian, Czech, Slovakian and Romanian markets is planning to sign contracts in Finland, Latvia, and Estonia. They will send their products under their own brand but also as Lidl’s Pilos.

Lidl is not the only company utilizing this practice. Netto, the Danish discount supermarket chain, has revealed that about 20 of their Polish suppliers are taking advantage of the opportunity for international cooperation and are exporting their products under Netto’s own brands to Germany and Denmark. These products include food and premium brands.