We observe an increasing importance of certain product types in food marketing, including organic products. In order to analyse the marketing strategies of offering organic food, we conducted an Internet survey among 282 entities, which had obtained the status of organic food processor awarded by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The effective response rate amounted to 7–10% depending on the question. According to our respondents, acquiring the status of organic food producer had a very positive (39%) or moderately positive (46%) impact on the development of their organization. Multiple parameters of their enterprises improved, including an increase in the number of customers, output and net profit as well as marketing outlays, which led to more intense and/or sophisticated marketing actions. 86% of the survey participants indicated a positive influence in the field of market image of their firm, almost ¾ confirmed entering new distribution channels, and 2/3 mentioned that this status enabled them to implement a policy of premium pricing. According to over half of the study subjects, there was an improvement in the image of their region of origin, which means a transfer of image between the firm and its area of origin. We asked the study participants to assess the importance of selected aspects of organic products. They considered typicity as the main characteristic, followed by vertical market channel integration (cooperation of the processor with its suppliers and distributors). The next position was taken by territoriality, i.e. the link with the area of origin. As far as the perceived authenticity of organic food is concerned, our respondents listed the following determinants as the most important: consumer knowledge, product image, label, and packaging. The representatives of organic food processors believe that their competitive advantage depends on the following factors to the largest extent: healthiness, brand, reputation, and taste. Additional determinants include safety concerns, ecological character of the product and quality guarantee confirmed by a sign or certificate (more than 70% of answers in the category ‘very important’). The altruistic motive of supporting local producers was less pronounced. The principal distribution channels of organic food include specialized shops and large distribution networks. Direct sales has a lower significance. We asked our respondents to assess the importance of selected barriers to the development of the organic food market in Poland. They indicated too high prices as the main constraint. This factor is dependent on the processor only to a certain extent, as it is also shaped by suppliers and distributors. We should also bear in mind that the Polish society is relatively less well off than in most EU member states. The second most important barrier was low visibility of organic food in points of sale (weak merchandising), followed by: low accessibility (shortage of specialised shops and poor availability in conventional food stores) as well as insufficient intensity of marketing activities. We observe a distinctive trend concerning the increasing role of export markets for Polish organic food. European Union markets are particularly attractive for Polish organic food producers. The internationalization process requires adopting more advanced marketing strategies.
produkty żywnościowe; polscy przetwórcy
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