Nestlé has gone head-to-head with Heinz in the fight for the hearts and stomachs of Polish immigrants.
It has launched the most popular products from its home-grown Winiary range in the UK, including three instant soups - White Borsch, Sour Soup and Red Borsch - as well as two cooking sauces, stock cubes, seasoning and its best-selling puddings, which include chocolate & vanilla and strawberry jellies.
The brand is worth about £100m in Poland and has a household penetration of 92% [Nielsen 2006]. Nestlé expects the 750,000 Poles living in the UK - 2% of the Polish population - to buy the range, but it hopes others will try it too.
Earlier this year, Heinz rolled out the Pudliszki brand in the UK. Its ready meals such as pork and beef goulash and stuffed cabbage in tomato sauce are primarily aimed at Polish immigrants but Heinz also believes the range would appeal to UK consumers because of the rising number of Polish restaurants, cafés and delis.
Nestlé UK trade communications manager, Graham Walker, said Winiary was one of the leading food brands in Poland.
"The range has already been well received and has been listed in a number of major retailers," he said. "We are confident the Winiary range will help to attract new customers to shops - bringing incremental sales and profits."
He said it had launched the brand nationally because there were Polish communities living throughout the UK. The multiples that have listed the range had identified specific stores where they thought it would have particular take-up, he said.
There are more than 50 products in the Winiary range in Poland, which also includes mayonnaise, individual packaged meals and gravies. If the initial UK offer is successful, Nestlé will consider extending it.
"Our research shows that the majority of Polish shoppers are used to shopping in smaller stores," added Walker, "so we see a great opportunity for independents to increase footfall with this community."