KPMG's 2014 report ‘Confectionery market in Poland’ said the value of exports for Polish confectionery reached PLN 6.3bn ($2bn) in 2013, increasing from PLN 3.7bn ($1.8bn) in 2009.
“The export of Polish goods is blossoming because of the great quality of our products as well as competitive prices that Polish manufacturers can offer. Is it additionally boosted by the Polish emigration to countries such as the United Kingdom or Germany,” said Rafal Wiza, director at KPMG Poland.
In 2013, approximately 420,000 tonnes of Polish sweets were sold to other countries. It was a growth of 72.1% in terms of value and of 53.8% in terms of volume since 2009.
To compare, the value of imported confectionery equalled PLN 2.2bn ($0.7bn). The total growth of imports in 2009–2013 amounted to 49.3% and 39.3%, respectively for value and volume.
The key destinations for Polish confectionery were: UK, Germany and other EU countries as well as Russia, North America, Turkey and the Middle East.
Despite Russia being one of the key importers of Polish confectionery, Wiza is confident that even a potential embargo on confectionery wouldn’t affect the health of Polish confectionery market.
“Because of the Russian embargo on products coming from the EU and the unstable political situation of course there is a risk the export volume to Russia will decrease. However, with Polish products gaining importance in new countries such as United Arab Emirates and the US, there is a potential that even if our confectionery loses Russia as an importer we would be able to make up for it somewhere else.”
Russia recently banned the import of beef, pork, fruit, poultry, cheeses and milk from UE countries, including Poland. At the time of writing, the was no embargo on Polish confectionery in place. However, Russia did impose sanctions on Ukraine's leading confectioner Roshen, owned by the pro-EU president of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
“I believe that Polish exports will continue to grow as quickly they are now, as more and more companies are aware of how much potential there is in exporting their goods,” added Wiza.
Is Poland the investors’ haven?
Recently Hachez told ConfectioneryNews that it was moving its packaging ops to Poland because of a cheaper labor. But according to Wiza that’s not the only reason why Poland has recently been popular with foreign investors.
“Of course the labour is cheaper in Poland than in many EU countries, but we have to remember that it’s not the only reason Poland is so popular with foreign investors. There are countries with even cheaper labour which are not as successful," he said.
“Poland is politically stable so people know it is safe to invest here. The country offers experienced managers and well-qualified staff. Through its central location and a growing network of motorways Poland is also a convenient choice in terms of transport."
He also pointed out that although those benefits are no longer as high as in previous years, Polish government offset help to investors through special economic zones by offering up to 50% of tax discount.