While label consumption in Western Europe has slowed almost right across the board, some small items of good news are coming in from farther east. Giant food concern Nestlé has confirmed its intention to expand operations in Poland, investing around $20 million there in 2009. The company’s sales in Poland grew by 11 percent in 2008, and it plans further acquisitions this year. This will be grist to the mill of Poland’s label converters, who are also profiting from a weak zloty to boost label exports to neighboring countries, most notably to Germany.
Further east, Cadbury, which owns two production plants in Russia, is less sanguine. Russian sales of chocolate and chewing gum, both of which Cadbury produces, are down. Sales of vodka (which it does not produce) are holding up well, however. Whether this is a sign of the times is hard to say.