Polish HoReCa market growing

29 Apr 2013

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The year 2012 saw continued improvement in the food service market. Nevertheless, drugstore market conditions remain challenging and the growth is supported by one-off events, here such as Euro 2012, the development of two major market players and the general trend of eating out frequently, according to the findings presented in the report ?HoReCa market in Poland 2013. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2013-2015?.

The crisis sweeping through global financial markets took its toll on the HoReCa market[1] as customers can easily resign from services provided by HoReCa companies or have them replaced cheaply. The first two years of the crisis saw the market tumble 5%. It was only in 2011 that it bottomed out slightly. The market continued to inch ahead in 2012. Based on our estimates, the growth rate recorded last year was nearly 2% with the market?s value totalling nearly PLN 23bn. The market expansion was driven by the performance shown by major players and Euro 2012, which provided a boost to hotel occupancy levels and contributed to the increase in sales generated by bars serving alcoholic beverages and other establishments showing football games or those located in close proximity to fan zones. Furthermore, Euro 2012 had a positive effect as Poland was presented as a worthwhile tourist destination. Combined with unstable situation in the Middle East, this had an immediate outcome in attracting more foreign tourists to Poland.

The 2012 data for the restaurant market show an upturn in the growth rate compared to the preceding year and, based on our estimates, the restaurant segment generated sales of PLN 18.5bn. However, if it had not been for aggressive pricing policies pursued by the major market players that coincided with a three-week rebound caused by Euro 2012, the market would have remained in stagnation throughout 2012. Excluding fast food restaurants (mostly the two largest players, i.e. McDonald?s and AmRest), cafes and, exceptionally, bars serving alcoholic beverages, the other two sub-segments of the restaurant market declined in value.

The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship was the largest sports event in the modern history of Poland. The HoReCa industry as a whole could rightly expect a positive effect of the event in sales figures.

However, according to the survey a mere one-third of the companies felt Euro 2012?s effect on revenue performance and just one-quarter of the interviewed companies reported a positive impact on sales.

One-tenth of respondents admitted that Euro 2012 had an adverse effect on sales generated by their establishments. The most frequently cited reason for this opinion was that the establishment was located in an inconvenient location, far away from the fan zones where most spectators would watch the matches. Respondents also revealed that large numbers of prospective patrons preferred to watch the games at home rather than spend the time in a restaurant.

 

 

However, it should be noted that customers are still cautious about spending, just the way they have been in the recent years. This attitude is underpinned by both a general uncertainty about when the good times finally come and a downward trend in salaries, which have fallen in the recent years in net terms, despite the rising costs of living. However, the upside for the food-serving industry is that more and more people tend to eat out. Due to the combination of all these factors, the market saw moderate declines in the past few years, but admittedly, the growth, if any, was limited, too.

We expect that the market will remain in stagnation in 2013 and the full-year performance will depend on how the market fares in the second half of the year. According to projections, the economic situation should improve in the year?s second half. Notwithstanding that, the growth will be kept below 1% year on year. Grater marked improvement is anticipated only for 2014 and the subsequent years.



[1] The HoReCa market is comprised of the following segments: hotel food services (Ho), restaurant services (Re) and catering (Ca).

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