Diversity and inclusive organizational culture is one of the areas with a strategic dimension for Żabka Group. The company’s daily decisions are guided by an equality approach that is based on objective, fair, and unbiased evaluation. Creating an environment in which every person, regardless of age, gender, family situation, or economic status, has equal opportunities, feels safe, and is respected and appreciated for the quality and value of the work they do is an ongoing process. Żabka Group conducts, among other things, equality-inclusive training for male and female employees, organizes anti-discrimination webinars, as well as inclusive leadership training for male and female leaders. Employees and female employees are involved in educational campaigns, such as “Żabka is people”, in which their non-worker side was shown. Żabka Group was the first Polish company to obtain the Equal Salary certificate, which confirms that there is no gender pay gap. The company is also involved in external initiatives such as the Diversity Charter or Target Gender Equity. In this way, Żabka Group creates an organizational culture capable of recognizing and enhancing the potential of everyone, while creating an environment based on cooperation and sharing experiences.

    Diversity Leaders 2024 ranking, created by the UK’s Financial Times in partnership with research firm Statista, is the result of the most comprehensive research into diversity and inclusion standards in the workplace. The final list of 850 companies is the result of an independently conducted survey of more than 100,000 employees from 16 countries.

    – As a responsible organization, Żabka Group attaches great importance to food quality and safety. Concern for maintaining the highest standards in this area is a fundamental element in building consumer trust. We are sure that the products we offer are reproducible, tested, and verified as a result of a multi-stage inspection. The guarantee of the highest quality means that customers come back to us for more products –says Marta Urbaniak, Head of Quality & Environmental Management, Quality Management Representative for ISO, Żabka Polska.

    “Product testers” decide what’s good

    Żabka’s goal is to provide customers with nutritious and convenient meals, snacks, and beverages that are ready to eat or heat up immediately and that cannot be purchased anywhere else. Żabka’s innovation lab is constantly developing new solutions as it expands its family of private labels. By the end of September 2023, the chain had already introduced more than 110 new private label product launches, the same number as in the whole of 2022.

    All private-label products undergo numerous sensory analyses and laboratory tests. They are also tested by Żabka employees, co-workers, and franchisees as part of the “Product Testers” program. Testers share their observations and comments, which are then analyzed by teams responsible for product development and introduction to the chain. Thanks to their feedback, it is easier to assess the potential of a product and decide whether to launch it. In this way, employees, co-workers, and franchisees are directly involved in the process of selecting and choosing novelties, have a real impact on what products end up on store shelves, and become private label ambassadors.

    Quality proven by the numbers

    Żabka’s private label products must meet not only the quality requirements of the law but also those specific to the chain. Their suppliers meet the food safety standards set by Żabka and are subject to regular audits to confirm the compliance and repeatability of production processes. In 2023 alone, the chain conducted more than 900 laboratory analyses and more than 1,100 sensory evaluations carried out at the company’s product development center. Each private-label product is carefully checked and analyzed at every stage of the supply chain. In 2023, nearly 360 private label products and those from Żabka Café range undergo regular quality checks. Products from each batch of all private label products are prepared and assessed by a qualified team already at the logistics centers. Since the beginning of 2023, nearly 74,000 product deliveries have been inspected and nearly 29,000 batches of products, including nearly 10,000 hot dogs, have been subjected to sensory checks.

    Highest quality standards in store

    All activities undertaken by Żabka are carried out based on applicable standards and are subject to regular audits. The chain provides its franchisees with training and develops procedures whose implementation and observance in the stores allow it to guarantee the highest quality of products and services offered to customers. It also provides them with several digital tools that make shop management easier. One example is Żabka Assistant application. Some of its most frequently and eagerly used functionalities are the HACCP module, which helps take care of food safety, optimizes working time with documentation, and minimizes the number of printouts in the store, and a module that allows the verification of product expiry dates and overpricing to be digitized.

    Promoting sustainable lifestyles through private labels

    Private labels not only respond to the growing demand for certain categories of assortment but also meet Żabka’s ESG targets. In 2020. Żabka committed to double the sales of private label products promoting sustainable lifestyles by 2025. Thanks to measures taken, such as the reformulation program, the promotion of a plant-based diet, the elimination of palm oil from private label products, the elimination of cage eggs for the sake of animal welfare, and the use of certified raw materials defined as critical in the area of sustainability, the chain achieved this goal two years ahead of schedule. It has therefore redefined its approach to good nutrition in 2022. The new guidelines include the promotion of products with a high Nutri-Score, products of plant origin, with a so-called clean label, or health or food labels according to EU guidelines.

    Detailed information is available at: https://zabkagroup.com/esg/

    Employees of Żabka Group cleaned the park in the area of the Regional Hospital in Poznań. The action took place on Tuesday, July 25, and was another initiative of the company as part of employee volunteering. For Żabka, social engagement is not just words, but also concrete actions.

    Daily, the green area serves both patients and medical staff as a place for therapeutic activities and an outdoor rest area. Thanks to volunteers, the park regained its former charm.

    Being in a friendly environment, e.g. in nature, is an important element in the therapeutic process of our patients, as well as a moment of rest for our employees, so we decided to revitalize the park belonging to our Hospital. The first step is a thorough cleaning up of the area, where we are supported by volunteers, and employees of Żabka Group, for which we are very grateful – says Piotr Nowicki, Director of the Regional Hospital in Poznań.

    Żabka Group is developing sustainably and responsibly. It focuses on people and their needs, while not forgetting the shared responsibility for the environment and the immediate surroundings. In 2021, the company revised its approach to social engagement, defining areas that are important to local communities and emphasizing activities that contribute to real and long-term change. Not only does it create opportunities for volunteering for workers, but it also encourages them to look on their own for local initiatives that they can support.

    Each employee in our company can use up to 8 hours per month for employee volunteering. We are very happy to employ people for whom social assistance and engagement are as important as they are for us. Together, we go out into local communities and look for spaces where our skills, time, energy, and zeal can turn into something good. That is why we have been involved in helping the Regional Hospital in Poznań – says Katarzyna Przewęzikowska, Manager of the External Relations and CSR Team.

    The action in the Regional Hospital in Poznań lasted 3 hours. Finally, in a green corner, some benches complement the initial arrangement of the area. This was another initiative of Żabka Group within the framework of employee volunteering. Since the beginning of the year, the company’s representatives have been involved in planting trees, cleaning the world, caring for animals in the shelter, or in charity collection for refugees from Ukraine.

    Żabka Group was among the winners of Special Achievement in GIS Awards 2023 (SAG). The award is given for increasing the dynamics of store opening and maintaining it at 1,000 sites per year thanks to the GIS software. The competition is part of the Esri Software Users Conference, which gathers thousands of participants from all over the world each year.

    The GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology, which collects, analyzes, and visualizes data, is an extremely important tool in trade today, especially when it comes to supporting expansion in the selection of physical chain facilities. It allows the data about the project to be combined with other information about its location, e.g. demographics describing the community in the selected area, the closest competition, traffic analyses, etc. By visualizing them, companies can identify areas with high sales potential and know-how to reach their target group. Thus, GIS enables companies to understand spatial dependency and ultimately make better business decisions.

    The managers of the nationwide chain of Żabka stores are well aware of this, and consequently, to ensure the right level of expansion, they have decided on solutions based on GIS. To this end, in 2018 the Group started cooperation with Esri Polska, a company providing the necessary tools. The result of the collaboration was the implementation of the ArcGIS system, which became the basis for the operation of many applications in the company. It is used by managers, analysts, and field workers.

    GIS for Optimization and Expansion

    Selecting the location of a given retail outlet requires a series of geographical analyzes. Many factors are involved – from the number of passers-by on the street to the wealth and age of the population living in the area.

    “The GIS technology allows the retail industry to quickly and efficiently analyze large data sets to know the specifics of the selected location” – notes Agnieszka Nosal, Managing Director of Esri Polska. ‘Visualizations presented in clear, interactive maps provide answers to key questions. Unlike other compilations and analyses – everyone can understand it, without special preparation. This greatly facilitates the work of the teams and reduces the risk of errors in the decision-making process.”

    The streamlining of the analysis process has made it easier for Żabka to identify the potential of individual locations – which significantly responds to the needs of the chain and at the same time contributes to increasing its competitiveness. The data in the ArcGIS system are presented clearly and present the summaries from several perspectives, making the decision-making process faster and more comprehensive.

    “Expansion is an extremely important part of the activities of Żabka, a company that wants to develop constantly” – says Waldemar Lisiewicz, Expansion Director at Żabka Polska. “The challenges we face include analyzing and assessing the potential of new locations. This is why the support offered by GIS is extremely helpful. It gives us a sure and reliable tool for multi-faceted analysis of different locations and thus enables us to make accurate decisions, both at the managerial and operational levels. Mapping visualization, spatial analysis, and the processing and collection of large amounts of data are factors that not only allow us to work comfortably and quickly access information but also to plan for further development.”

    Appreciable Effects

    As a result of the implementation, Żabka can now better manage its range and locations of stores, which contributes to the increase of business efficiency and the development of the company. A measurable result of cooperation with Esri Polska is an increase in the dynamics of opening new stores in the company. After the decision to digitize the process of expansion and implement solutions based on GIS, it reached the level of over 1 thousand new store openings per year and this result has been maintained for 4 years.

    Such dynamic development, achieved through the implementation of solutions based on GIS, could not escape the attention of the jury of this year’s SAG competition. The award presented at the biggest conference gathering all users of solutions based on GIS, which has traditionally been held in San Diego, California, was received by Waldemar Lisiewicz, Expansion Director at Żabka Polska. In this way, Żabka Group joined the group of Polish laureates of this award, among which are: RCB, GUS, Warsaw University of Technology, Frontex, National Geological Institute, Office of Forest Management and Geodesy, Police, Customs Service, Central Office of Geodesy and Cartography or GOPR.

    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.

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