back to top

    Polish Consumers: Saving on Groceries but Still Wasting Food

    According to the latest survey, 76.1% of Poles save on their grocery shopping, for instance, by buying cheaper products or taking advantage of promotions. On the flip side, 17.2% of compatriots don’t practice this. Simultaneously, 17.1% of consumers admit to food wastage during Easter, with leftovers ending up in the bin. Conversely, 76.5% claim this doesn’t occur in their households. Economical food purchases are predominantly made by individuals earning between PLN 1000-2999 zł and less than PLN 1000 monthly. Conversely, food wastage is more common among the highest earners, above PLN 9000 net.

    Based on a report by UCE RESEARCH and Offerista Group, 76.1% of Poles continue to save on food purchases daily, often by seeking out cheaper items or attractive promotions. 17.2% of compatriots do not engage in this practice. 5.4% of respondents are undecided, while 1.3% are entirely disinterested in such expense management.

    “In my view, nearly 80% of Poles currently economize on food shopping mainly due to high inflation. The aspect of food preservation is often perceived solely through a financial lens. It’s about not wasting food for which one had to pay,” says Robert Biegaj, co-author of the study and a retail market expert from Offerista Group.

    The above-mentioned thriftiness is primarily represented by individuals earning a monthly net income ranging from PLN 1000-2999 zł, less than PLN 1000, and PLN 3000-4999. “Typically, consumers who earn the least save on food purchases for financial reasons. This is precisely what the study shows. These individuals simply cannot afford to waste food,” comments an expert from Offerista Group.

    The thrifty attitude is particularly prevalent among residents of cities with populations ranging from 200-499 thousand and even more densely populated areas. “People living in large and medium-sized cities tend to be more cautious with grocery spending, as food is generally more expensive there compared to rural areas and small towns. The cost of living is also higher,” notes Robert Biegaj.

    According to analysts from UCE RESEARCH, only 17.1% of respondents admit to typically wasting food during Easter holidays, resulting in leftovers being discarded. However, 76.5% of respondents hold the opposite view. Additionally, 5.1% of respondents are undecided, and 1.3% do not recall their situation.

    “I have the impression that Poles are reluctant to admit, primarily to themselves, that they waste food. They try not to notice it at all because they would feel bad about it, especially in a financial context. Of course, they may genuinely not pay attention to it. But if indeed so few people are wasting holiday food nowadays, it’s undoubtedly due to high inflation, which has put a strain on Poles,” states Robert Biegaj.

    Those who admit to wasting food are mainly individuals earning over PLN 9000 net monthly, less than PLN 1000, and PLN 7000-8999. “The fact that the highest earners in Poland discard excess food doesn’t surprise me. What surprises me more is that among them are compatriots earning the lowest incomes. In my opinion, these could be consumers who don’t support themselves independently and therefore have no qualms. This is the most probable explanation because typically, those who earn the least carefully calculate their expenses to avoid wasting a single penny,” analyzes a co-author of the study from Offerista Group.

    Furthermore, experts from UCE RESEARCH add that food wastage after holidays is primarily observed among residents of towns with populations ranging from 5-19 thousand and up to 5 thousand, as well as rural areas. “I am surprised that people from villages and small towns most frequently admit to wasting food. However, this can be explained by the fact that they often produce their own food and are not as reluctant to discard it since they don’t buy it from stores. I find it hard to find another reason for such behavior,” concludes Robert Biegaj.

    More in section