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Ice cream is another Polish export hit

Poland is one of the largest exporters of ice cream in the world. In 2023, it ranked 4th with a share of 8.84% of global exports. Thus, it strengthened its position as one of the key players in this industry.

Lody - rożki kolorowe o różnych smakach

Expansion of Polish ice cream

The expansion of Polish ice cream has gained momentum quite recently. In the previous decade, there was no indication that Poland would be at the forefront of the world in this industry.

According to the Central Statistical Office, for the first time in history, the production of Polish ice cream exceeded 300 million litres as early as in 2021, growing by 14% compared to 2020. Thus, we were able to establish direct competition with Italy, which is ranked 3rd in the world ranking of exporters and has always been famous for the production of the famous Italiano gelato.

Global ice cream production and exports in 2022

According to Eurostat data, in 2022, Poland’s biggest competitors among ice cream producers in the European Union were Germany with a volume of 620 million litres, France, which took second place, producing 591 million litres of ice cream, and Italy with a production of 571 million litres.

The largest exporter of ice cream in the European Union was France, selling 53 million kilograms, which accounted for 21% of total EU exports. The Netherlands came second, exporting 42 million kilograms of ice cream, which accounted for 17% of total ice cream exports outside the EU. Italy came in third place, exporting 31 million kilograms, or 13% of total exports. Germany came in fourth with 28 million kilograms, accounting for 11%, and Belgium in fifth place with 23 million kilograms, accounting for 9% of total EU ice cream exports. In 2022, Poland exported 10.99 million kg of ice cream.

Poland’s share in global exports in 2023

Poland recorded the largest jump in its share of global ice cream exports in 2023, rising from 5.84% to 8.84%. Thus, compared to 2022, exports increased by 51.4%.

According to the UN Comtrade database, in 2023, Poland ranked 4th in global ice cream exports with a share of 8.84%, ahead of Italy with a share of 8.78% and Spain (8.23%).

The first place belonged to Germany (18.6%), second to Belgium (11.74%) and the third place to  the Netherlands (10.23%). The database does not contain information on exports from France, which was in first place in 2022.

Export from and Import to Poland of ice cream

The value of Polish ice cream exports increased by 20.6% compared to 2022 and amounted to EUR 345 million.

diagram polskiego eksportu i importu lodów
Value of Polish exports and imports – annual approach [EUR million]

The results of the successively growing Polish exports since 2020 confirm the popularity and strong position of Polish ice cream on the international markets.

Main directions of Polish ice cream exports

In 2023, Poland exported 81.18% of its production to European Union countries and 18.82% to the rest of the world.

The largest recipients of Polish ice cream were Germany, to which exports reached EUR 77.87 million, followed by France (EUR 45.26 million), the United Kingdom (EUR 33.95 million), Spain (EUR 21.67 million), Italy (EUR 19.37 million) and Hungary (EUR 18.21 million).

Among non-European countries, the export of Polish ice cream, with the highest value in EUR million, in 2023 went to  the United States (84.76), Australia (33.35) and Colombia (31.7).

Polish ice cream was also sold in countries as far away from us as Gambia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Main directions of Polish ice cream imports

In 2023, the largest import of ice cream to Poland came from our western neighbour. The value of ice cream products exported from Germany to our country  amounted to EUR 42.02 million. Thus, the balance in ice cream trade was positive for Poland and amounted to approximately EUR 35.85 million. The second country from which Poland imported ice cream of the highest value was Lithuania (EUR 15.69 million), followed by Spain (EUR 15.69 million) and the Netherlands (EUR 10.48 million).

Consumption of ice cream in Poland

The value of the ice cream market in Poland is growing year on year, but sales in terms of volume remain stable. This may indicate a significant impact of inflation on this product category. In the last two annual periods, ending in April 2022 and April 2023, the sales volume remained almost the same.

According to the Target Group Index survey conducted by Kantar at the turn of 2022 and 2023, the majority of Poles (52%) declared that they consume ice cream (mainly dessert or family ice cream products).

Poles usually eat them several times a year. This was confirmed by every fifth respondent, 13% of the survey participants declared that they eat ice cream 2-3 times a month, and 11% eat ice cream once a month.

Source: CIS, Eurostat, UN Comtrade data base

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