Each year, Euromonitor International identifies emerging and fast-moving global trends that are expected to gain traction in the year ahead. These trends provide insight into changing consumer values, by exploring how consumer behaviour is shifting and causing disruption for businesses globally. In 2022, more than 100 analysts with vast experience and comprehensive knowledge in the Food and Nutrition, Health and Beauty, Luxury and Fashion, and Tobacco industries as well as in Economy, Sustainability and Consumer topics, casted their votes and determined which trends will be significant in Poland.
No1: The Great Life Refresh
Crises can make consumers analyse and change their values. According to the Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer Lifestyles Survey in 2022, more than 51% of respondents in Poland stated that it is important to spend money on experiences. The pandemic has forced people to spend greater time at home and socialise with others online, and post-COVID-19 consumers are increasingly demanding experiences. Furthermore, the war in neighbouring Ukraine is encouraging Poles to appreciate life and what it can offer. This scenario accelerates a shift to experiential consumption, leading to greater adoption of “live in a moment” and “enjoy the life while you can” attitudes.
Consumer Expenditure on Leisure and Recreation in Poland, 2016-2021
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/Eurostat/UN/OECD
Despite soaring inflation and disruptions to supply chains, companies are reacting to the Great Life Refresh both inside and outside of businesses. As consumers increasingly search for purpose, businesses are keen to offer employees a better work-life balance and support personal growth. According to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer Lifestyles Survey in 2022, 33% of Polish respondents noted that a strong work/life balance is important and 22% emphasised working from home among their preferences for future work. Furthermore, the EU Work-Life balance Directive, to be implemented in Poland in 2022, endorses gender equality as well as equal parental duties distribution, which is also likely to facilitate change.
No2: Financial Aficionados
Uncertainty, instability and lockdowns resulted in some consumers doubting their financial security, leading to more conservative behaviour, including spending less and saving more. Personal saving rates in Poland grew significantly faster than global rates in 2021 and are expected to gain further growth momentum in 2022. The unprecedented migrant crisis, skyrocketing energy prices and the war in Ukraine will add to the sense of instability in the region, increasing consumers’ propensity to save and spend consciously.
Savings in Eastern European Countries in 2021
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics
Growing savings and mounting uncertainty facilitated growing consumer interest in money management and investment tools in 2021. It is becoming increasingly important to serve the vast pool of financial novices and underserved populations, while businesses with a strong digital presence are well equipped to do so. From established traditional banking players to fintech start-ups, companies are starting to offer new tools for managing personal finances and teach consumers how to spend consciously.
For instance, Kontomierz gives users a complete picture of their finances without logging into each bank separately and provides insight into how to achieve more efficient personal finance management. Meanwhile, the more futuristic PayEye operates the first full payment ecosystem based on iris biometrics in Poland.
No3: Rural Urbanities
As the pandemic reshaped urban life, it also ended key motivations to dwell in the city. With the closing infrastructure gap between cities and countryside, the introduction of accessible e-commerce and the lower costs associated with rural living become increasingly attractive. On the other hand, urban consumers are searching for rural-like-living in the city to enjoy better air quality and greener spaces. Polish cities are responding. For instance, Krakow has launched the Krakow Community Gardens programme, through which it lends its areas to residents free of charge, to bring different functions (such as gardening) to the city and communal spaces. Meanwhile, Wrocław improves access to green areas by creating pocket parks in the city centre and green tram tracks.
Gardening Sales in Poland, 2016-2021
Source: Euromonitor International
The urban-rural migration in Poland will be further fuelled by the shift to more hybrid work models, and improving reach of digital retailing. Growing numbers of refugees, who appreciate the urban environment where they can find more diverse job opportunities, are said to be facilitating a greater move by Poles to rural areas by increasing the demand for accommodation whilst inflating housing prices in urban areas. This makes rural living comparatively cheaper, while establishing micro-fulfilment centres and introducing express delivery services will become essential for business success.
No4: Self-Love Seekers
Post-pandemic consumers crave comfort and love, and are embracing the idea that they can be the source of their own happiness. Self-Love Seekers are strong; they appreciate their worth and accept that they are not perfect, and that it is acceptable to have struggles and flaws. They indulge themselves, splurging in ways that match their lifestyles, whether purchasing a cannabis-infused beverage, a well-deserved spa retreat or attending a cultural event. Consumer spending on better for you (BFY) products in 2021 grew by an impressive 9% in Poland, illustrating this trend.
CBD Market by Product in Poland, 2021
Source: Euromonitor International
Businesses, especially in the beauty and wellness space, are ready to embrace this trend and invest in technology to provide tailored care. Beauty brands offer salon-quality products for use at home; food and beverage manufacturers continue to invest in functional ingredients and low- or non-alcoholic drinks as consumers seek healthier options; and leisure centres become multifunctional to provide all encompassing self-care experiences. For instance, Poland’s 4F sportswear brand launched 4Fspot, a multifunctional space combining a café serving healthy dishes with a workshop, fitness area, showroom and a collection point for online orders.
No5: Pursuit of Preloved
Nearly 38% of Poles buy used or second-hand items at least every few months, according to the Euromonitor International Voice of Consumer: Lifestyles Survey of 2022. Although less common than in Western European or North American countries, the Pursuit of Preloved trend is growing in Poland, driven by sustainability trends and slow fashion. Economic instability and political uncertainty also reinforce the greater acceptance of second-hand as a more affordable option.
Willingness to Buy Second-Hand or Previously-Owned Items in Poland by Age Group, 2019/2022
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, 2022
As consumers shift to consignment shopping, companies are implementing new business models to also embrace the circular economy. The fast development of second-hand apps, special filters on marketplaces and peer-to-peer platforms for selling and buying second-hand are the major drivers of this trend. Other business models are also being established. For example, Zalando Pre-owned allows Polish consumers to sell nearly-new branded clothes to the retailer via its platform. After thorough assessment, valuation and an approval process, sellers receive a gift card that can be used on Zalando or donated to one of its supported charities.
Consumer trends in Poland are dynamic and go beyond simple consumption. As the local economy continues to navigate turbulent times, consumers are searching for meaningful relationships and expressing themselves through purchasing or boycotting certain brands, which do or do not correspond to their values. Companies stand to be seen as partners, helping consumers adapt to a new way of life, to grow and improve mentally and physically. Collaboration and connection with consumers is vital to gaining and sustaining brand loyalty.
For further insight into Global Consumer Trends read Euromonitor International’s report here.