Żabka received three awards in the prestigious competition for the best grocery stores in Poland – Market of the Year 2023. The jury awarded the chain with prizes in the following categories: Small Format, Most Innovative Concept, and Best Franchise Concept. In the Retail Business Awards poll, which is a joint project of Wydawnictwo Gospodarcze and Business Center Club, the jury also decided to award the prize to Tomasz Blicharski. The Executive Vice President of the Management Board of Żabka Group, Managing Director of Żabka Future received the award in the category of Visionary of Retail Business.

    The Market of the Year 2023 and Retail Business Awards ceremony took place on May 25, during the Retail Trends 2023 Congress organized by Wydawnictwo Gospodarcze.

    Market of the Year is a prestigious poll for the best food stores in Poland. Every year, in several categories, individual stores and retail chains fight for this title. The winners are selected by a jury composed of top managers of major food companies, representatives of research institutes, and industry organizations.

    As part of this year’s Market of the Year, Żabka received the award in the category Small Format for “being synonymous with a small store, combined with continuous improvement of the concept, setting new standards for the convenience market and being a benchmark for all commercial rivals not only within one format”.

    The jury also praised Żabka for the concept of Żabka Nano. The chain received the award for Most Innovative Concept ‘for having created the largest chain of unmanned stores in Europe, and soon to be the largest in the world while taking care not only of the technological facilities but also of the financial indicators of the project’.

    Żabka, according to the judges, is also the Best Franchise Concept. The judges appreciated Żabka for “becoming the largest retail chain in Poland in the last year, with the simultaneous emphasis on technology development and innovation, which translates into benefits for franchisees”.

    During the gala organized at the MCC Mazurkas Conference Center & Hotel in Ożarów Mazowiecki, near Warsaw, also the results were announced of the Retail Business Awards poll, in which Tomasz Blicharski was awarded the prize in the Visionary of Retail Business category. According to the jury, the executive vice-president of the management board of Żabka Group, managing director of Żabka Future, is “a manager who understands current and anticipates upcoming changes and his business decisions shape the face of the sector and set the direction of the industry development”.

    Retail Business Awards are prestigious business awards for companies from the retail and wholesale sectors in Poland. The statuettes are awarded to companies and their managers for real actions that create real value for business partners, suppliers, employees, local communities, and consumers, as well as the economy and environment.

    Tomasz Suchański, President of the Management Board of the Żabka Group, was a winner of Hermes Handlowy in the Personality of FMCG category. This is an award granted by the monthly magazine “Poradnik Handlowca” to outstanding representatives of the FMCG industry in Poland.

    The award to Tomasz Suchański coincided with the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Żabka chain of stores. Żabka is a leader in convenience – for 25 years it has participated in the construction of this sector in Poland, being close to customers and their needs. The mission of Żabka is to simplify life for customers and offer them convenient, comprehensive solutions. The chain already works with more than 8 000 franchisees, supporting entrepreneurship and creating more than 56 000 jobs.

    The President of the Management Board of Żabka Group received the statuette during the ceremonial Gala, which took place during the 23rd Spring National Meeting of the Leading Figures of FMCG and HoReCa World in Poznań. The conference was attended by leading representatives of the FMCG world: top managers of foreign and domestic producers, CEOs and members of the management of retail chains, representatives of wholesale distributors, and CEOs of trade organizations.

    As the organizers of the competition emphasize, the mission of the “Poradnik Handlowca” and „Poradnik Restauratora”  has been for years supporting independent traders and restaurateurs, as well as distinguishing those who by their attitude give an example to others, achieving not only sales successes in trade or catering, but also realizing extremely important social and ethical missions.

    Żabka Group is a modern ecosystem, which for 25 years has been accompanying customers at every moment of the day, making their life easier and freeing their time. It offers products and services tailored to their needs, focusing on Quick Meal and Food to Go solutions. With digitalization, it is able to continuously improve, creating innovative services, new sales channels and technological tools of the future. In its comprehensive Responsibility Strategy (ESG), Żabka Group demonstrates its commitment to creating a more sustainable lifestyle for all, while minimizing its environmental impact throughout the value chain. The Group’s actions have a real impact on the development of the Polish economy – in 2022, the total amount of value added generated by Żabka Group and its co-operating franchisees amounted to as much as PLN 7 billion, which is 31% more than in 2021.

    A summary of the actions taken by Żabka Group can be found in the fifth Responsibility Report “Comfortably and Responsibly”, which has just been published. The publication contains many examples that illustrate the actions taken by the Group in 2022.

    Our Responsibility Strategy is closely integrated with our business strategy, and our main goal is to strive to make our customers’ daily choices simpler and more convenient, while at the same time being more environmentally friendly. So we’re doing a lot of work to positively impact our environment and be part of a real change for the better. We support local entrepreneurship and establish cooperation with cities, such as Bydgoszcz, where we test the circular economy system. In addition, we have opened the first store in Poland combining technology with more environmentally friendly solutions – Żabka Eko Smart. We have also received the EQUAL-SALARY certificate, and according to the Gallup Institute, we are among the 23% of the best companies in the world that create one of the most engaging workplaces. In line with our strategic commitment, we increase our transparency by regularly undergoing external reviews and verifications in the ESG area – says Anna Grabowska, Executive Vice President of the Management Board, Chief Commercial Officer of Żabka Group.

    Żabka Group with a real impact on the economy and society

    Żabka is the fastest growing chain of modern convenience in Central and Eastern Europe – it comprises more than 9,000 stores, run by more than 8,000 franchisees. Żabka is also the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe – with about 50 Żabka Nano facilities. The Group also includes Maczfit, Dietly, Delio and Żabka Jush. The scope and scale of the activities of Żabka Group and franchisees has a significant impact on the Polish economy, as illustrated by the amount of value added (VA), which amounted to PLN 7 billion in 2022 (compared to PLN 5.3 billion in 2021). This figure is equal to the amount that would be sufficient to finance the renovation of approximately 12,700 km of national roads.

    Żabka Group and franchisees cooperating with it also influence the labour market, maintaining over 56,400 jobs last year – a 24% increase compared to 2021 (45,400) and a 55% increase compared to 2020 (36,500). This positive impact in the area of employment is felt in all sectors of the Polish economy. The total number of jobs maintained last year is approximately equal to the total number of inhabitants of Swarzędz and Jarocin (Greater Poland Voivodship).

    Żabka boosted sales of own brand products promoting sustainable lifestyles

    In 2020 Żabka pledged to double the sales of its own brand products promoting a sustainable lifestyle by 2025. Thanks to the measures taken, such as a reformulation program, promoting a plant-based diet, eliminating palm oil from own brand products and branded products certified by the RSPO, Żabka achieved this goal two years ahead of the planned date. Therefore, in 2022, the chain redefined its approach to good nutrition and identified four aspects that it wants to focus on in the coming years. The new objectives include the promotion of products that have a high Nutri-Score rating, products of plant origin, with a so-called clean label or health or food labels in accordance with EU guidelines.

    In 2022, the 100% Nutri-Score system was also a significant step forward to help customers make informed purchasing decisions. Nearly half (45%) of Żabka’s own-brand products received high marks and this percentage is still increasing. In addition, yellow versions of ready-made dishes from Szamamm brand provide as much as 2/5 of the suggested daily dose of vegetables.

    Żabka collaborates with cities

    Żabka not only supports local entrepreneurship, but also develops partnerships with cities. As part of the “Green Renewal” project, implemented in cooperation with the Bydgoszcz City Hall, residents can donate disposable beverage packaging in all stores of Żabka, and there are more than 120 of them in the city. The collected raw material is used to create new packaging, so less waste ends up in landfills. The pilot project also aims to raise environmental awareness among consumers and develop the habit of returning plastic and metal beverage containers just as glass bottles are currently returned. Due in part to such initiatives, in 2022 Żabka achieved plastic neutrality for its own brand products. At the same time, the chain is already very close to achieving another target – by the end of 2025, it wants 100% of own brand products packaging to come from recycling, and be recyclable. By 2022, the company had already achieved this target at the level of 94%.

    Żabka Eko Smart, an eco-friendly innovation laboratory

    In 2022, Żabka opened its first Eko Smart store in Poznań, a laboratory of innovative solutions that are more environmentally friendly, enriched with solutions that facilitate the work of franchisees and their employees. Żabka Eko Smart uses one of the world’s first installations based on perovskite cells – this breakthrough technology has created price displays, so-called price tags, and shutters producing electricity. The facility is equipped with remote lighting management and Smart Shop Control systems, and next to the coffee stand there are tiles made of moss and coffee husks. Lockable, insulated with hemp mats, refrigerators allow for a great energy saving, just like glycol-filled shelves in the cooling cabinet.

    More information about Żabka Eko Smart, which is already open in Poznań and Łódź, can be found at: https://zabkagroup.com/zabka-eko-smart/

    Żabka is one of the most engaging workplaces

    For years, Żabka Group has been consistently building an organizational culture based on values, taking care of its employees and their development. It is a place where every person employed is valued, respected and able to realize their full potential – regardless of who they are. The group ensures that all employees are equally remunerated for work of equal value and influence on the organization, as confirmed by the certificate of equal pay awarded by the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation, a Swiss foundation studying equal pay in companies. Żabka Polska is the first Polish company with this distinction based on the UN guidelines and recognized by the European Commission. The certificate strengthens the position of the company among the best employers, who not only speak about their commitment to equality, but also demonstrate this commitment through real action.

    Today, Żabka Group is also one of the most unique workplaces in the world – according to the Gallup Institute survey, it was among the 23% of the best companies in the world, which create one of the most engaging workplaces. Dynamic growth and large-scale expansion is impossible without committed teams and strong leaders, so continuously increasing the level of employee engagement is one of the company’s strategic goals.

    Responsibility Report for 2022

    The report “Comfortably and Responsibly” is already the fifth Responsibility Report prepared by the company. The information contained in the publication summarizes the important results and selected activities carried out by Żabka Group in support of the implementation of the Responsibility Strategy in 2022. The information contained in the report is grouped into 4 strategic pillars: Pillar 01 – Sustainable lifestyle, Pillar 02 – Mindful business impact, Pillar 03 – Responsible organization and Pillar 04 – Green planet. The results of the activities were presented in a transparent manner and presented in the tables with results, as well as in the context of selected activities undertaken by the Group in the area of sustainable development and responsible business.

    The publication has been prepared in accordance with the latest standards of non-financial reporting of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI Standards) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). At the same time, the report includes climate disclosures, which follow the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFDs), and a value model based on the recommendations of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). In addition, the report includes information on reporting on the activities to implement the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, in accordance with the guidelines of the Communication on Progress (CoP), the recommendations contained in the publication of the World Economic Forum – Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation and information on the organization’s contribution to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The report has once again been subject to independent, external verification.

    Żabka Group Responsibility Report for 2022 is available electronically: https://zabkagroup.com/esg/

    Global warming is becoming an increasing challenge and forests are an excellent natural tool for limiting climate change. With this in mind, the Żabka Group has launched the action “Projekt Las” as part of the employee volunteering program, which it is implementing in cooperation with the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Poznań and the Konstantynowo Forest District. In its first stage, which took place on March 30 this year, the employees of the organization planted 2,000 trees in the forest in the area of Mosina near Poznań. The project involved 41 volunteers of the company, who worked together for 3 hours for the good of the planet.

    We are a company that supports the social engagement of employees, so every person can use up to 8 hours per month for employee volunteering. As part of voluntary activities, we cooperate with many foundations and help centers, our representatives act independently, but also within the framework of actions conducted by our company. This time our volunteers planted 2 thousand trees as part of “Project Las”, restoring the forest stand and supporting the natural environment – says Katarzyna Przewęzikowska, manager for external relations and CSR.

    Before the action, representatives of the Forestry Authority of Konstantynowo conducted for employees a quick training, during which they explained how to plant trees properly. After that, the volunteers in pairs started to work. Their task was to restore the forest, that is, to plant a new generation of trees in the place where the old stand gave place to the young.

    We plant at 90 cm intervals. It is important that the tree does not have wrapped roots, and the pit, which is made with a spade, must have the depth to which the tree was previously planted in the nursery – explained Wojciech Fabisiak, Press Spokesman of the Forest Authority of Konantynowo. – Let’s remember that the forest is not only a nice landscape – it is a necessary factor of ecological balance. Trees produce essential oxygen, and they also provide wood raw material, forest fruits, mushrooms, and herbs. The forest is also a very important water retention area today and a place for our rest and recreation. That is why every year in Poland foresters plant 500 million young trees restoring forests and foresting more areas. The forest is our common natural national treasure, so we are glad that Żabka supports our activities. We would like to make this concern for the forest obvious to everyone. So that as many people as possible participate in the planting of trees – added Wojciech Fabisiak

    8 hours a month for volunteering

    As part of the employee volunteering, each Żabka employee can spend up to 8 hours a month helping others during working hours. The company’s experts, as part of a voluntary activity, share their knowledge and experience, especially in the areas of new technologies, logistics, or advanced analytics, with students of the Adam Mickiewicz 8th High School in Poznań, with whom the company is implementing the “Road to Business” project. Żabka employees were also involved in volunteering for the Polish Humanitarian Action, the Polish Red Cross, and in aid activities for refugees from Ukraine. They also had the opportunity to participate in the unique “Parcel with a Smile” action, packaging parcels with gifts for children in need under care, among others, of the Bone Marrow Team Foundation, the Happy Kids Foundation, the In_Spire Foundation, the Association of the Center for the Promotion and Development of Citizens’ Initiatives, as well as small patients in Poznań hospitals.

    Żabka Group strives to provide customers with convenient access to the highest quality products in every possible place, so it develops the project of autonomous shops and is now planning to open the first such facility in a hospital. Thanks to Żabka Nano, located on the premises of the Regional Hospital in Poznań, both its patients, visitors, and employees will be able to purchase products from the extensive offer of the chain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Żabka Nano on the premises of the Regional Hospital in Poznań is located in front of the main entrance (entrance A), next to the rotunda, at the parking lot, which is accessed from Juraszów Street. This is so far the smallest autonomous store of the chain – the area of the sales hall is 16 m2. The store will be opened in the second quarter of this year. Access to the facility will be possible using any payment card or Żappka mobile app. with a payment card linked to Żappka Pay.

    Opening a Żabka store is always an opportunity for the local community to do quick shopping. The hospital is another type of location where our autonomous store is available to customers because according to our mission, we want to provide them with convenience wherever possible – says Paweł Grabowski, Head of Unmanned Solutions at Żabka Future.

    Despite the small size of the store, the product mix offered by Żabka Nano store on the premises of the Poznań Hospital will include about 900 products. It will include products from the Żabka private labels, such as Szamamm ready-made dishes, Tomcio Paluch sandwiches, Foodini liquid snacks, juices and lemonade Wycisk, and freshly ground coffee from the coffee machine. Due to the location and needs of the hospital patients, the store will also have an extensive range of hygiene products.

    The Regional Hospital in Poznań, as the first in Poland, will enable its patients, visitors, and employees to shop in the Żabka chain store. We have offered to work together because it is in line with our vision of providing high-quality services and reaching out to modern solutions. Żabka Nano store means that our non-medical offer will be enriched by a much-needed, friendly place being at the very top European level. We are convinced that the functioning of such a store on the premises of the hospital will mainly benefit patients because it will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just like the Hospital –adds Piotr Nowicki, Director of the Regional Hospital in Poznań.

    Europe’s largest chain of autonomous stores

    Żabka Nano is an innovative concept that changes and shapes the perception of consumer experiences. The first store started its activity in June 2021 in Poznań. Today, Żabka Nano is the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe. It has more than 50 facilities of this type, and there are plans to open several dozen more. Żabka Nano stores are located, among other places, in places where – due to limited space or legal requirements – the standard facility of Żabka chain would not fit, for example, in office buildings, fitness clubs, or dormitories. They are also an important part of the urban fabric – they are present on important city streets or metro stations.

    More about Żabka Nano stores at: zabkagroup.com/pl/convenience/nano/ i zabka.pl/zabka-nano

    Żabka Group is among the top 25% of the best companies in the world, which managed to create one of the most engaging workplaces, as confirmed by the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award 2023. The Żabka Group is the first Polish organization with such a prize. The Gallup Institute is the world’s oldest public opinion research institute. The award is preceded by a meta-analysis covering data of over 2 million employees in 276 organizations in 54 industries and 96 countries. This is the most comprehensive study of the workplace ever conducted.

    The development of the company and large-scale expansion is impossible without committed teams and strong leaders, therefore, raising the level of employee involvement is considered one of the strategic goals of the Żabka Group. When in 2017 we created the company’s development plan for the next years, we knew that the key to its implementation is to build an engaging organizational culture. Our actions bring tangible results, which is proven by the development of the company in recent years. Today, with the Gallup Award, we can also proudly say that we have created one of the most engaging workplaces in the world – says Jolanta Bańczerowska, Member of the Management Board, Chief People Officer in Żabka Group.

    The Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award (GEWA) recognizes the most engaging workplaces in the world where employees feel they belong to the company, and identify with its values and mission, for which work is a real passion. The winners of the award are organizations that create unique workplaces changing for the better. According to Gallup data, as many as 72% of the people employed in the GEWA-winning organizations are committed workers, whereas the global average is only 21%.

    Żabka regularly surveys the involvement of the Employees.

    Companies that put employees’ engagement at the center of their business strategy and integrate this engagement into their organizational culture achieve better results, and employees are more motivated and more willing to recommend an employer. That’s why Żabka has been regularly surveying the commitment and satisfaction of its employees for five years.

    According to the latest results of the Gallup Institute survey, Żabka was among the TOP 25% of companies in the world with the most engaging organizational culture, reaching the 77th percentile among companies worldwide.

    The teams involved are tangible benefits, because the employees involved work with passion, are more efficient, and achieve high, stable results in their work. They innovate and contribute to the development of the organization.

    Engagement drives concrete business indicators. According to Gallup, organizations with high levels of involvement also show 41% less absence, 59% less staff turnover, and 10% higher levels of customer engagement. The level of commitment also affects job security. Companies that maintain high levels report as much as 70% fewer security incidents.

    The Gallup study is anonymous and includes all Żabka employees and associates. The turnout in the last study was a record 92% (compared to the average for all Gallup studies of this type at 82%).

    In Żabka, the annual results of Gallup’s engagement survey are discussed with the board and top managers, and then with the teams. Such meetings aim to present the results and main conclusions of the analysis. It is also an excellent opportunity to discuss and set priorities for the next year. Thanks to Gallup’s questions, managers know, among other things, what is important for the team, what they can be proud of, and what else requires work, so that everyone can develop and release their potential. The involvement of the board and top managers guarantees the implementation of changes and cascades them to managers and their teams.

    Other activities undertaken by Żabka to develop diversity and inclusive organizational culture, the company describes in the report “Comfortably and Responsibly” published in June. This is the fourth overview of the activities carried out under the Responsibility Strategy published by the Żabka Group. It is available electronically: Responsibility Report

    Żabka Group, the leading Polish convenience ecosystem with nearly 3 million customers daily, is looking for startups that will help embrace positive change and foster innovation, to further transform convenience shopping. Applications are now open for Żabka Future Lab, an accelerator program for startups that want to grow with Żabka Group and test their products and services at scale, using its infrastructure and resources.

    The program is open for early-stage startups, who can help Żabka Group with enhancing its customer experience, improving the logistics, optimizing operations, and transforming it into a leading global retailer. Up to 5 startups from all around the Europe and Middle East, who will apply to the program, will take part in workshops and mentoring sessions with industry experts that will help them improve business models, learn how to communicate with potential customers or develop the right product/market fit.

    Startups will also have a chance to test their product and services at scale, within Żabka Group’s infrastructure. Being the leading convenience ecosystem in Poland, the company has over 9,000 stores, over 50 Żabka Nano autonomous stores, and over 6 million users of its mobile app. In addition, the PoC and commercial pilots can be held within logistics facilities, with Żabka Group’s partners, and even conduct sensory tests in company’s own lab.

    Żabka Future Lab is one of three acceleration programs run by Żabka Group, and an example of a whole variety of endeavours by Venture Studio, a division of Żabka Future that specifically seeks for startups and tech companies, to foster innovation that could further expand and improve the convenience ecosystem and create additional value to for Żabka Group.

    „We work closely with startups to bring innovative solutions to retail. We support companies that are designing unconventional solutions for e-commerce, q-commerce, and D2C. We share our expertise to help young entrepreneurs test their ideas, reduce the risk of failure, and bring their products to market. The work of our team is all about supporting innovators, searching for new business opportunities, and building relationships within the startup community”, says Karol Gajewicz, Head of Venture Studio.

    Venture Studio on the lookout for startups

    In 2022 alone, Venture Studio analysed applications from 1335 startups, meet with over 100 of them and invited 13 companies for the pilot program of their products or service. The team has also organised 4 acceleration programmes, aimed at working with different companies, that solve different issues. The list includes the first edition of Żabka Future Lab, Foodtech Lab aiming at fostering innovation innovation in the food industry, and 2 editions of the Startup Impact Program, seeking for startups that create a positive impact on the world around them.

    The winning projects in the 2nd edition of the Startup Impact Program are the development of energy-free fast beverage cooling (E-ice); biopolymer production (Seasoil); the development of intelligent composters suitable for use in urban and even office environments (Vermico).

    The winners of the 1st edition of Foodtech Lab include SERio Vegetable cheese – vegan cheeses made from lupin, BIO COOLS – cryogenic, vegan ice cream, NewGranny – functional coffee drinks with high protein content, Small Giants – healthy insect-based protein snacks, and Fermentful – fermented plant-based drinks for gut health.

    Startup success stories in the convenience ecosystem

    Żabka’s Venture Studio has already seen successful pilots, tests, and implementations. Including Virbe and Omniaz. 

    Virbe is a startup that creates 3D virtual assistants using conversational AI, used to help stores improve customer experience. They can be present both in digital channels as well as in physical locations, serving as brands ambassadors that are brand always available. Żabka Group tests them in the autonomous stores, to provide customers guidance and personalised product recommendations, as well as make the checkout process a breeze.

    Omniaz is an end-to-end augmented reality solution for retail, uses AR to merge online and offline shopping experience. The first pilot, conducted in 2022, resulted in an NPS of 90%. The second pilot, with a larger customer base, is planned for 2023.

    “As a technology-driven company, we’re able to quickly test and validate new ideas. And with our large-scale operations, we’re able to do it in a real environment, always listening to customer feedback. That’s how we’ve introduced new payment methods, q-commerce services, and made investments in AI. And as a result, Żabka Nano is the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe. But innovation is a constant process, not a single project. We’re always open for bold ideas that could help us respond to consumer needs, invent new categories and stay ahead of the market”, says Karol Gajewicz.

    The applications for the 2nd edition of Żabka Future Lab program are open till the 15th March. Selected companies will take part in the acceleration from April till June. 

    Since January 26, as part of the pilot project “Green Renewal”, customers of the Żabka chain have had the possibility to return disposable beverage packaging in all of over 120 Żabka stores located in Bydgoszcz. They can be returned directly to sellers or in ECOmats. The raw material collected will be used to create new packaging, so that less waste will end up in landfills. The project will not only benefit the planet but will also benefit customers – for every returned plastic bottle or can they will receive 50 żapps.

    Ecological actions make sense if we can achieve the right scale. To be effective, we need to design them in a simple, clear, and easy way for the recipient. That is why we are introducing the possibility of returning disposable beverage packaging in all Żabka stores across Bydgoszcz as part of the “Green Renewal” action. It aims to create environmental awareness among customers and to develop the habit of returning plastic and metal beverage packaging as we have managed to do for glass bottles. Our advantage is the proximity of stores, i.e. collection points, the ease and speed of the process of returning packaging, as well as the reward in the form of żapps for a pro-ecological attitude. With this collection, we will be able to recover valuable raw material and return it to the reproduction of packaging. Such measures make sense not only in terms of reducing plastic production and environmental pollution but also in terms of minimizing CO₂ emissions, which are the direct cause of climate change. I encourage customers to take part in our green transition towards a circular economy! – says Joanna Kasowska, Director of Quality and Food Management Standards in Żabka Polska.

    The “Green Renewal” project is implemented in cooperation with the Bydgoszcz City Hall.

    Proper waste collection, segregation, and the circular economy are the way to use raw materials and reuse them in the end. The implemented project is a step towards a circular economy, but in this regard, it is necessary to implement the relevant comprehensive legislation. We are pleased that the Żabka action, promoting good ecological behavior, in cooperation with the City, is implemented in Bydgoszcz –says Michał Sztybel, Deputy President of Bydgoszcz.

    How to take part in the Green Renewal campaign?

    Just find any store in Bydgoszcz and bring empty beverage packaging to it. Remember not to crush, damage, or tear off labels.

    Under the “Green Renewal” action, plastic PET bottles with a capacity of up to 2l and metal cans with a capacity of up to 1l can be returned (milk beverage packaging is excluded from the collection). Packages must have a clear barcode to be scanned. It is not necessary to wash them, but the remains of the beverages should be poured out from the brought packages.

    Customers who take part in the action will be rewarded with bonus loyalty points in the Żappka application, i.e. the so-called żapps – they will receive 50 żapps for each returned plastic (bottle) or metal (can) packaging. Purchases can be paid for with the collected żapps.

    Two ways to return – in ECOmat and to the seller

    In 54 stores in Bydgoszcz, it is possible to return packaging in EKOmats, which are special machines for separate collection of waste. In the remaining 67 stores in Bydgoszcz, you can return the packaging directly to the seller, who will also calculate the bonus żapps due for return. In this case, the limit applies – you can return up to 15 beverage packs at a time.

    For more information on the “Green Renewal” action, please visit: https://www.zabka.pl/zielona-odnowa

    Social Responsibility of Żabka

    Żabka continues its social responsibility efforts, taking further steps and promoting recycling as one of the ways to reduce the production of primary plastic. In Poznań, Warsaw, and Łódź, it is already testing 29 EKOmats, thanks to which a total of almost 320 thousand aluminum cans and more than 701 thousand plastic beverage bottles were collected and received a second life. In addition, Żabka places information on how to properly assemble used packaging on the packaging of private label products. It also makes sure that as many of them as possible are made from secondary raw materials – bottles made of 100% recycled material (so-called rPET) are used for beverages of all Żabka private labels – Foodini, Wycisk, S! and mineral water OD NOWA.

    The Żabka Group wants to build partnerships for positive change and support innovation and is therefore actively looking for cooperation with entities offering solutions supporting the transformation of the convenience ecosystem. It does this through Venture Studio, a unit that searches for startups based on current business needs but also based on consumer trends and insights. This is supported by the acceleration programs Foodtech Lab, Startup Impact Program, and Żabka Future Lab, the second edition of which has just started.

    The Żabka Group is working with startups that create innovative solutions for retail trade, especially in the areas of e-commerce, q-commerce, and Direct to Consumer (D2C). To reach the widest possible range of innovators, we have joined forces with local startup organizations and international accelerator programs. We have also created three proprietary programs: Żabka Future Lab for startups creating solutions of the future, Startup Impact Program for startups of positive impact, and Foodtech Lab for startups creating innovations in the area of food – says Karol Gajewicz, Head of Venture Studio, Żabka Group.

    Thanks to the strength of the convenience ecosystem it creates, the Żabka Group offers young businesses the opportunity to deploy a product or solution on a large scale. In 2022, the Venture Studio team analyzed 1,335 startup applications, met more than 100 entities, and invited 13 of them to pilot a product or solution.

    By mapping innovations in the Żabka Group through Venture Studio, we identify challenges that individual business areas face. In this way, we identify priority directions to the search for solutions on the market, in the spirit of open innovation. When choosing startups, we are guided by their alignment with our strategy and potential for development, taking into account market trends– stresses Karol Gajewicz.

    For the best startups that the Group invites to cooperate, there will be consumer tests, commercial piloting, and even financial support for further development. In addition, startups can count on access to a sensory laboratory, expert support, and numerous opportunities to establish relationships crucial for business development. The invitation to further cooperation by Venture Studio means for startups the opportunity to cooperate with all entities of the Żabka Group and the opportunity to test their solutions in the fastest-growing chain of convenience stores in Poland.

    Last year Venture Studio carried out 4 acceleration programs, each aimed at a different group of young enterprises – including Żabka Future Lab, Foodtech Lab, and as many as 2 editions of the Startup Impact Program

    Żabka Future Lab

    On February 6, the 2nd edition of Żabka Future Lab was launched – the flagship acceleration program of the Żabka Group, which seeks innovative companies that will help develop the convenience ecosystem, offer new services to customers, improve logistics, optimize operations, and contribute to the transformation of the Group into a global leader in the retail industry.

    The startups selected as part of the Żabka Future Lab have a chance to test their products and services not only in over 9 thousand stores of the chain, including the autonomous Żabka Nano outlets but also in logistics centers. They can also access the infrastructure of the Group’s partners.

    Among the winners of the 1st edition of the Żabka Future Lab program is Virbe – a platform that allows creating of interactive 3D avatars and using them in customer service. Żabka tests them in the Żabka Nano autonomous stores to make shopping easier and bring customer experience to a new level.

    Startup Impact Program

    Big changes consist of small decisions made daily. That is why the Żabka Group, through Venture Studio, is also actively looking for startups working on solutions that help consumers change their daily shopping habits for the better for themselves and the Earth. This purpose is served by the Startup Impact Program. The Group carries out it together with Kozminski Business Hub – an organization dedicated to searching for and supporting startups at Kozminski Academy. The program is aimed at young companies whose goal is to have a positive impact on the environment, i.e. those working in ecology, health, or entrepreneurship. So far, KBH and Grupa Żabka have jointly implemented 2 editions of the program.

    Startups with solutions in four areas can participate in the Startup Impact Program: reducing the environmental footprint, future packaging, developing entrepreneurship, and welfare and equal opportunities. The winning projects in the 2nd edition of the competition are: the development of technology for fast cooling of beverages without the use of electricity (E-ice), the production of biopolymers (Seasoil), and the development of intelligent composters suitable for use in urban and even office environments (Vermico).

    Foodtech Lab

    The Żabka Group also wants to give young entrepreneurs the chance to develop together innovative food products that can help consumers make informed choices about good nutrition and sustainable lifestyles. The Foodtech Lab acceleration program, the first edition of which was launched in October last year, serves this purpose.

    The project targets startups from all over Europe. It has been approached by solutions providers in areas such as innovative food products, alternative sources of protein, functional foods, or solutions supporting recycling and reuse.

    140 startups from 20 countries participated in the 1st edition of Foodtech Lab. Among the winners were: SERio Vegetable cheese – vegan cheese with lupine, BIO COOLS – cryogenic, vegan ice cream, NewGranny – functional coffee drinks with high protein content, Small Giants – protein, healthy snacks with insects and Fermentful – plant kefir taking care of the proper intestinal flora. The winning startups will be able to implement their solutions in the Żabka Group ecosystem.

    For its search for innovation and contribution to the development of the Polish startup system, the Żabka Group was awarded in the second edition of the ranking of “CREATORS OF THE POLISH STARTUP SCENE”, created by MamStartup in cooperation with PFR Ventures. The Group was awarded a prize in the category “Organizations and Innovation”, and the judges appreciated it for its strategy of supporting home startups through acceleration programs.

    140 startups from 20 countries have taken part in the Foodtech Lab Acceleration Program, where the Żabka Group is looking for solutions that approach nutrition and its impact on the planet in an innovative way. The winners of the 1st edition of the program include SERio Vegetable cheese – vegan cheeses from lupine, BIO COOLS – cryogenic, vegan ice cream, NewGranny – functional coffee drinks with high protein content, Small Giants – protein, healthy snacks from insects and Fermentful – plant kefir taking care of the proper intestinal flora.

    11 startups were presented during the Foodtech Lab final. Innovators from all over Europe met in Poznań to present their products and solutions. The project appraisal committee consisted of the members of the management board of Żabka Group – Anna Grabowska, Executive Vice President of the Management Board, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Tomasz Blicharski, Executive Vice President of the Management Board, Managing Director of Żabka Future and Adam Manikowski, Executive Vice President of the Management Board, Managing Director of Żabka Polska and representatives of the company’s key divisions for the Foodtech area. In addition to the presentation and a short Q&A session, the final was also an opportunity to test the products evaluated.

    Foodtech Lab develops innovative food products that can help consumers make informed choices about good nutrition and sustainable lifestyles. We are pleased that the winning startups have the opportunity to develop their unique products within the convenience ecosystem of the Żabka Group. Building partnerships for positive change is part of our sustainable development strategy. It is thanks to them that we can enable our customers to change their daily habits for the better, both for themselves and the environment – says Anna Grabowska, Executive Vice President of the Management Board, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Żabka Group.

    Further development of the winning projects

    Venture Studio works with startups that create innovative, unconventional solutions for retail. We pay attention to their alignment with our strategy and development perspective from the point of view of market trends. We are happy to share our resources, experience, and relationships so that young organizations can achieve great results in a shorter time, reduce the risk of failure, and get mentoring and training support. We provide experts who help startups validate ideas, develop a product, and launch it – says Karol Gajewicz, Head of Venture Studio, Żabka Group.

    Each startup has different needs, which is why Venture Studio, operating within the Żabka Group, will prepare a tailor-made cooperation path for the winners of the Foodtech Lab program. Over the coming months, the winning startups will have to continue working to improve the projects submitted. The Żabka Group will support young companies in the development of products, offering, among other things, cooperation with its suppliers and experts, and implementing a test implementation in selected areas. If the tests and the pilot are carried out successfully, the startups can count on long-term, commercial cooperation with the Żabka Group, and even the possibility of investment by the Group, friendly technology recipients, or public funds.

    About the program

    Foodtech Lab has been open to startups from all over Europe, offering ideas or finished products in the following categories: Innovative food products, Alternative protein sources, Lab-grown meat, Functional food, Packaging, Food waste management, Food processing technologies, Food production, and Consumer applications. For more information, see: https://foodtechlabprogram.com/

    Finding innovative solutions for retail trade

    The Żabka Group is constantly looking for innovative solutions, the implementation of which is aimed at accelerating the development of the convenience ecosystem. It does this through Venture Studio, whose task is to search for and attract to the organization modern solutions giving a new perspective to the whole Group. Projects are selected according to current business needs, taking into account the most important trends that stimulate the development of the retail industry not only in Poland but also in the world. The acceleration programs run by the Żabka Foodtech Lab, the Startup Impact Program, and the Żabka Future Lab provide significant support in this process.

    For its search for innovation and contribution to the development of the Polish startup system, the Żabka Group was awarded in the second edition of the ranking of “CREATORS OF THE POLISH STARTUP SCENE”, created by MamStartup in cooperation with PFR Ventures. The group was awarded a prize in the category “Organizations and Innovation”, and the judges appreciated it for its strategy of supporting home startups through acceleration programs.

    The second edition of the Żabka’s initiative the “League of Quality Champions” has ended. Over 2,400 franchisees were awarded as part of the competition. The 8 regional winners with the title of Quality Champions were announced during a gala ceremony held on January 19. The ranking of entrepreneurs operating under the name of the Żabka chain took into account the quality of management of establishments, maintaining high standards in stores and customer service, and consequently achieving the best sales results. The prize pool amounted to PLN 5 million.

    2nd edition of the Żabka Quality Champions League

    – The common denominator of all our activities is quality, which is expressed, among others, in the product offer, the high technological level of our services and solutions, as well as cooperation with franchisees. We also appreciate this aspect very much in their attitude. The League of Quality Champions competition was created to distinguish concretely the commitment of entrepreneurs who run stores with us. How the store, its staff, and the quality of service are managed in a real way translates into building a competitive advantage of the chain and a high level of customer satisfaction, which consequently leads to an increase in turnover and thus also in the income of entrepreneurs – notes Przemysław Kijewski, COO at Żabka Polska.

    The second edition of the Program began in July 2022 and lasted until the end of December last year. Nearly 90% of businesses under the green label participated. They competed for the title of Quality Champion within their Sales Regions. The awards went to over 2,400 franchisees, while the Champion title was awarded to the best 8 entrepreneurs from each region. The winners received financial awards. Depending on the place occupied, the “Quality Champions” gained – for the 1st place PLN 15,000 zł, for the 2nd place – PLN 13,000 zł, and the 3rd place – PLN 10,000.

    What were the winning Franchisees of Żabka awarded for?

      With such initiatives, the result is influenced primarily by the committed and trusted team. I try to manage my staff skillfully and motivate the staff accordingly. By sharing the prize in the competition with them in the form of bonuses, I wanted to emphasize how much I appreciated their commitment, and it is of course also extremely important to maintain high standards of management and service of the store and strive to raise them further. I am glad that I managed to deliver on the decision to be among the winners of this edition of the “League of Quality Champions” – emphasizes Patryk Pundyk, a franchisee of Żabka for 15 months, who runs a Żabka store in Warsaw.

    The ranking took into account the results related to, among others, the maintenance of high standards in stores, visits of a mysterious client, or the implementation of recommended e-training (e.g. in the area of sales or finance). Żabka has maintained permanent Regional Quality Rankings, individually for each of the 8 Sales Regions. The Competition Jury was responsible for the proper conduct of the competition and the announcement of the winners, and it included representatives of the chain from the Sales Support Department and the Franchisee Development Department.

    The third edition of the “League of Quality Champions” project started in early January and will end in June this year. Due to the high interest in the initiative, as well as the dynamic development of the Żabka chain and the increasing number of franchisees cooperating with it, the number of prizes will increase and the prize pool will reach PLN 6 million. The next Gala will take place in July.

    More about the Żabka franchise on: https://www.zabka.pl/franczyza

    Żabka has offered an unusual auction in support of 31st Grand Finale of GOCC. Fans of the chain can bid on the Allegro platform to participate in an advertisement spot and spend a day full of attractions on the movie set with a marketing team. The auction is available at: https://allegro.pl/oferta/zabka-udzial-w-spocie-reklamowym-13143954544. Żabka and its franchisees play with the GOCC every year and collect donations in over 9000 stores throughout Poland. The company also encourages donations via the e-Piggy Bank available at https://eskarbonka.wosp.org.pl/1nvmne

    This is another time when together with our franchisees we are comprising the largest Staff of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC) in Poland. We are engaged in this extraordinary action, which moves the hearts of people all over Poland, because we want to engage and encourage joint action for the benefit of those in need. We will collect donations in all our 9,000 stores up to 31st  Grand Finale of the GOCC – January 29, this year. Our franchisees, customers and employees have often shown great willingness to help, for which we are extremely proud and grateful. It is thanks to them that we can do so much good and we are counting strongly that we will donate as much money as possible this year too! – says Adam Manikowski, EVP, Managing Director of Żabka Polska.

    Bidding for the participation in Żabka spot will last until 5.02.2023. It can be found at: https://allegro.pl/oferta/zabka-udzial-w-spocie-reklamowym-13143954544

    At the GOCC auction you can bid on participation in one of the Żabka spots, carried out as part of the new campaign “Free Up Free Time”, in which – often with a grain of salt – we show how we accompany our customers at every moment of the day, simplify their lives and thus free up their time so that they can spend it on their passions. I encourage everyone to participate in the auction, because it is a unique opportunity to spend time with us on the movie set and take part in the advertisement of Żabka, and thus do something good for others – says Jarosław Serednicki, Marketing Director at Żabka Polska.

    The chain’s website has traditionally also featured an e-Piggy Bank, which can be used to donate to the fundraiser. The Żabka does not forget about the possibility of supporting the objective of the 31st Grand Finale of the GOCC in the traditional way, i.e. putting cash into colorful cans, which are available in all over 9000 Żabka stores throughout Poland.

    The Żabka has been supporting the Grand Finales of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity for many years, taking an active part in fundraisers. Last year, thanks to the involvement of customers and franchisees, the company donated to 30th Grand Finale of the GOCC 3 million PLN. Part of this amount was collected thanks to users of the Żappka app, who were happy to exchange loyalty points collected during their purchases, i.e. so-called “żapps” for charity bricks.

    This year’s 31st Grand Finale of the GOCC will be held on January 29 under the slogan “We want to beat sepsis! We play for all – the little and the big ones!”. Sepsis is a syndrome of symptoms caused by an uncontrolled, rapid response to infection. It is essential for the survival of the patient who has experienced it to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. This is why the GOCC wants to equip hospitals with devices to speed up the diagnosis of infections – this will enable better treatment of sepsis through faster implementation of targeted and effective antibiotic treatment.

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