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Coffee market in Poland - analysis, trends and consumer preferences 2018-2019

Looking at 2018 and 2019, the coffee category in Poland looks stable.

- Comparing the retail sales of the coffee category on the Polish market in 2019 and 2018, it can be concluded that this category is stable. In terms of value, it recorded an increase of 0.9%, and in volume terms at 1.5%. It is worth adding that this is a very complex category, consisting of several segments: instant coffee, ground powder coffee, coffee beans and coffee in capsules. Each of them has different dynamics - analyzes Ms. Marta Baros, consultant at Nielsen Connect Polska.

According to the expert, coffee is most often bought in large-format stores, such as super- and hypermarkets and discount stores.

- Last year (2019), hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount stores were responsible for over 75% of the value category sales of the entire category, of which discount stores account for over half of the sales of large format stores. However, despite this, the share of private labels in this category is lower than the average share of private labels in the grocery basket - explains Ms. Marta Baros.

Ground coffee is the largest segment on the market

According to Nielsen, ground coffee/powder coffee is the most popular among consumers. This segment, despite a decline in value in 2019 compared to 2018, still remains the largest category on the coffee market in Poland. The following places were taken by instant and coffee beans as well as capsules.

- The largest segment among the coffee categories is the ground coffee segment, which accounts for almost half of this category's sales in terms of value. In relation to 2018, this segment recorded a decrease in value by 3%. Polish consumers spent almost PLN 1.5 billion/€ 0.35 billion last year on instant coffee, the second largest segment in this category, so slightly less than on ground coffee and similarly to it, this segment also recorded a decline compared to the previous year - explains Ms. Marta Baros.

- The coffee bean segment has a growing sales value. Given the value, it is over three times smaller than the ground coffee segment, but it is coffee beans that have the highest growth dynamics. Compared to last year, they achieved a sales increase of 25 percent - she adds.

Coffee capsules, despite being the smallest segment on the market, its sales, similarly to coffee beans, are constantly growing.

- The smallest segment in this category is coffee in capsules. Polish consumers, however, are increasingly willing to choose this type of coffee, as evidenced by an increase in sales value of 7.5% compared to 2018 – Ms. Marta Baros calculates.

Grains and capsules grow in strength

As we have already mentioned, coffee beans and capsules regularly build their size on the coffee market in Poland. Consumers are increasingly focusing on the quality of coffee, its good taste and method of preparation. This is why coffee beans and capsules to be prepared in the coffee maker are becoming more and more popular.

- For several years we have been observing a clear change in the structure of the coffee market in Poland, where the growth drivers for the entire category are coffee beans and coffee in capsules. The premiumization trend is also progressing. More and more consumers are choosing higher quality and better quality coffee, despite the fact that you have to pay more for it. And so, ground coffee gives way to coffee in beans and instant coffee to the capsules. The coffee bean market is developing at a double-digit rate and in our opinion it will continue to grow dynamically - says Mr.Adam Mokrysz, President of Mokate Group ( https://www.mokate.com/en?q=pl/strona-glowna ).

Coffee is often a purpose for many meetings in cafes. In turn, visits to the premises and the coffee served there translate into purchases of individual types of coffees in stores. Consumers are increasingly paying attention to the origin of coffee, the method of roasting beans and brewing methods.

- In Poland, coffee is one of the most important products in the shopping basket. The coffee sector is a very stable sector, but for several years there have been some changes. The Polish consumer, who has been a very loyal customer until now, is slowly beginning to ask a question about the origin of coffee, the way of roasting and they notice its diversity. Their buying decisions are more and more thoughtful and result from the growing interest in coffee. Polish consumers try new products more often, and they combine drinking coffee with a kind of celebration. The proverbial 'little black'(dress=coffee) becomes an element of lifestyle and pop culture. It is not only a stimulant drink, but it becomes a kind of binder and link during social meetings - argues Ms. Paulina Bucka, Brand Manager of Instanta (http://www.instanta.pl/home.html), the producer of Mała Czarna /Little Black brand.

- We also notice that more and more people are reaching for coffee beans and are more likely to use alternative brewing methods, also at home. It can therefore be said that this segment is becoming more and more attractive in terms of sales. The changes are always a challenge but also an opportunity for coffee producers - she adds.

The filter coffee makers return to favor

These visits to cafes and the growing awareness of consumers about the types of coffee, the origin of the beans and the method of preparation affect the offer of the premises. Cafes, where coffee from a pressure espresso machine has dominated so far, looking at market trends and consumer preferences, are increasingly choosing coffee from filter coffee makers.

- After choking on the news, we return to the good old methods. Filter coffee makers are brought back to the mainstream so-called the third coffee wave, related to the development of the specialty coffee segment. This is a revolution that will work mainly in the minds of consumers who now attach importance to the quality of the grain and the way it is roasted. There are also made home appliances such as dripp, aeropress or chemex which hit the showrooms. For example, designer Mocca Master for filter coffee brewing has appeared in homes. In many places you can choose coffee brewed by various methods, e.g. from a filter or pressure coffee maker - explains Mr. Marcin Zalewski, co-owner of the White Bear Coffee Roasters (http://palarniathewhitebear.pl/), who also trains baristas.

- However, the quality of the coffee is primarily determined by the quality of the grain. In principle, only coffee from the Special Coffee segment is used in filter coffee makers. This method conquers its qualities and highlights them. For filters, we usually choose coffee from one region, often even from one plantation, to bring out all its notes, and remind you that coffee has more notes than wine. But even the best grain can be spoiled by wrong roasting. That is why so many artisanal roasters have recently been created, where great importance is given to the firing process. It is supervised by specialists called coffeee roasters who are able to extract the best from grain - adds the expert.

It is worth adding that premium coffees and specialty coffees are not cheap. However, coffee lovers who value the taste, preparation and proper serving of coffee are able to pay more for high-quality coffee and equipment for its preparation. Time will show how this type of consumer attitude will affect the value and size of the coffee market in the coming years.

8 april 2020