Chopin’s music? Lech Wałęsa? “Solidarity”? Beautiful women? Wrong! The world knows Poland more than these because of “Polish Vodka”, but there is more to it …

Żubrówka - one of the most famous Polish vodkas

Żubrówka – one of the most famous Polish vodkas

5.7% of people think that our country is known abroad for the “disco polo” music. Or maybe the slogan “good food” would let foreigners see the Vistula land before the eyes of imagination? That is the view of only 14.9%. Poland is known slightly more for “Solidarity” (26.6% of responses), “beautiful women” (30.4%) and “Lech Wałęsa” (30.9%).

This brings us to the most famous Polish things / slogans / personalities for which Poland is known abroad. It is shocking that “Polish vodka” was in this ranking on the second position (45.9% of responses), completely outclassing “Chopin’s music” (34%) and losing only to Pope John Paul II (a record of 77.2%).

What Poland is famous for abroad

  1. 77.2% Pope John Paul II
  2. 45.9% Polish vodka
  3. 34.0% Chopin’s music
  4. 30.9% Lech Wałesa
  5. 30.4% Beautiful women
  6. 26.6% Solidarity
  7. 14.9% good food
  8. 5.9% disco polo music

At least these are the results of a research conducted by SW Research in November 2015, commissioned by the Association of Polish Vodka, the patron of the first world’s Museum of Polish Vodka currently being built in Praga, Warsaw. When asked why bartenders often choose Polish vodka, respondents pointed to its high quality (55%) and good taste (48.5%). Paradoxically, however, only 23% of the study participants considered a clean vodka as a fashionable alcohol.

How to explain this paradox?

Fashion is something variable. The perception of Polish vodka as the national drink is timeless, it is a cultural pattern, something much more lasting than fashion. A guest from abroad is served with what the country is famous for, even if at the moment it is not trendy – comments Anna Gołębicka, communication expert who works for the leading Polish brands and works with the Adam Smith Centre.

Trends pass, and Polish vodka still on top?

It is an integral part of Polish culture and tradition, accompanying Poles during the most important celebrations and social gatherings. It also has important implications for the economy – has been a major Polish export product, recognisable all over the world. Not surprisingly, more than 55% of respondents mentioned it at the first place among the products with which they would receive guests from abroad. Other products which Poles think would be good to serve to their foreign guests are: bigos (51.3%), pierogi (51%), kiełbasa (35%) and Polish sweets (19.3%).


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