Maczfit & Żabka – bound to be married?
On 8 March 2021, Żabka Polska and the owners of the Maczfit brand, one of the leading companies in the diet catering segment in Poland, announced the signing of an agreement resulting in the inclusion of the Maczfit Foods Sp. z o.o. company in the structure of the emerging Żabka Group. This is because Żabka will become the majority shareholder of the company.
Maczfit was established in 2015, founded by Maciej Lubiak, a sportsman, restaurateur and entrepreneur, who will remain a minority shareholder and president of the company.
– Over the past 2 years, Maczfit has leapfrogged the scale of its operations, entering new markets and expanding its modern offer. Our investment allowed us to adjust production capacity, increase employment and significantly improve the company’s profitability. I hope that joining a leading Polish retail group such as Żabka will allow Maczfit to continue its excellent growth rate – says Piotr Noceń, managing partner of Resource Partners fund (the fund expanded its portfolio in 2018 with a majority stake in Maczfit Foods).
PMR Expert’s view:
Senior Retail Analyst
Catering in a box and from the shop shelf
Żabka’s investment in Maczfit highlights two trends that we expect to continue to gain momentum in the coming years: in-store catering and boxed diets. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the diet catering segment is recording growth (as virtually the only segment in the catering sector affected by the COVID-19 restrictions) and attracting new players (Mihiderka, Sfinks, among others). According to a report by Dietly.pl, a comparison site for meal-kits, in October 2020 nearly 100,000 such meals were delivered in Poland each day, an increase of 30% compared with a year earlier. At the same time, around lion’s share of those meals are delivered by small businesses with 200-300 subscriptions each. According to research by Pomelo Catering, in 2020 alone, the number of Poles using boxed diets increased by 35% and the peak of their popularity is yet to come according to its founder.
The convenience store segment was a fast-growing part of grocery retail in Poland even before Covid, but it has made major gains in the pandemic. According to PMR data, sales in convenience stores grew in value by almost 10% in 2020. It was the biggest increase of any format, even ahead of discount stores and proximity supermarkets. Convenience stores – in response to lower social mobility and less frequent but larger purchases by Poles – have increasingly supplemented the foodservice offer of their shops with ready meals. The Żabka chain, in addition to developing the Żabka Cafe gastronomic concept, is expanding its private label ready meals offer (Dobra karma, Szamamm, and Le’Frog on a test basis). Prepared meals for the nationwide grocery chain in cooperation with Eurocash will also be produced by the Sfinks restaurant group. Also, North Fish has decided to add ready meals and other convenience foods as a second pillar to its business. It is in advanced talks with grocery chains and expects to make the first shipments in a matter of months. According to a survey conducted by PMR in November 2020 on a representative sample, 56% of respondents in Poland treat ready-made dishes bought in the shop as a substitute for a self-made meal, and 39% believe that within the next 3 years grocery stores will be strong competitors to fast food bars.
On the fragmented diet catering market, the investment of Żabka creates an opportunity for Maczfit to take an active part in the inevitable consolidation of the boxed diet market or relieve the burden of costly logistics (e.g. by the possibility of a quantum leap in the development of pick-up points). For Żabka, on the other hand, this is an opportunity to expand its menu with meals associated with healthy eating, balanced in terms of calories and nutrients.