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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » September 29, 2014
Polska... tastes good!
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Polish Frozen Foods Popular Abroad
September 29, 2014   
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Polish frozen foods are popular with consumers throughout Europe and beyond. Poland is the largest exporter of frozen fruit in the European Union and the second-largest exporter of frozen vegetables.

Freezing is a natural method of preserving food without using preservatives. Meanwhile, consumer habits are changing. Pressed for time, people are increasingly looking for fast and easy ways to prepare meals at home. Frozen foods are a good option. Experts say frozen food consumption has the potential to increase in Poland, especially as the current level of consumption is lower than in other European countries.

Due to their high quality and low price, Polish frozen foods have substantial market potential, much as the Polish food industry as a whole. At the moment, the frozen food market is growing at a rate of several percent a year, though in the last two years it has been developing mostly thanks to increasing sales of own-brand labels in discount store chains.

Fruit processing is steadily increasing. In 2004-2013 it stood at 820,000 tons a year on average, compared with 644,000 tons in 2001-2003. According to a forecast by the Warsaw-based Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, fruit processing will approach 973,000 tons in the 2013/2014 season and vegetable processing will total 1.07 million tons. Frozen fruit and vegetables represent the largest group in fruit and vegetable processing, at 395,000 tons and 585,000 tons respectively.

Production of frozen vegetables is among the fastest growing segments of the fruit and vegetable industry in Poland. This is also one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry as a whole. In the first few years after joining the European Union Poland became the second-largest producer of frozen vegetables in the EU, after Belgium. The dynamic growth of production was due to rising demand at home and abroad.

A large part of the output from Polish processing plants is exported. Thanks to the long-standing experience of Polish producers, combined with a favorable climate, clean environment and attention to quality, Polish frozen foods have an established reputation on foreign markets, especially in other EU countries, which account for the bulk of exports. The EU as a whole is the largest buyer of Polish frozen vegetables and fruit.

Poland is responsible for 7-8 percent of the overall fruit and vegetable processing in the EU, which is estimated at 16-20 million tons annually. Poland accounts for 60 percent of total processing in new member states. At the same time, Poland is the EU’s largest producer of frozen fruit and juice concentrates. Polish products have a strong position on international markets and are valued primarily for their quality and competitive prices, especially when it comes to products requiring manual labor, where it is impossible to replace humans with machines. Polish frozen foods are valued for their taste and quality, thanks to the natural values of the ingredients, production process controls, a long tradition and know-how, combined with modern production lines and international quality control systems used in processing plants.
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