Soft Drink Consumption in Bulgaria Up 19% in First Quarter

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Consumption of soft drinks in Bulgaria increased 19% or 44 mln litres in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period a year ago, the Bulgarian Soft Drinks Association reported.

Consumption of bottled water grew 19% or 19 mln litres from last year. Consumption of natural mineral water expanded 17%, while consumption of waters offered to the public sector in 19.4 l gallons was up 33%.

Sales of traditionally “summer” fizzy drinks surprisingly increased 18% or 16 mln litres in the period. In the group of lights drinks the increase is by 45%. Sales of drinks in glass and PET packages larger than 2.00 litres were also up.

In the group of non-fizzy drinks with low fruit content, punches, soluble and dilutable, consumption in the first quarter of this year grew 19%.

Demand for natural fruit juice and nectar increased 12% or nearly 2 mln litres from the previous year due to products made in Bulgaria. Consumption of products offered in glass packages is growing at an outstripping rate.

In the group of “cold tea” and “energy&sports” drinks consumption in the first quarter grew by 43% and 31% respectively. Big variety and attractive prices were one of the main reasons for the higher interest in products from this group, offered on the Bulgarian market.

Soft drink consumption figures in the first quarter give grounds to expect optimistic results in the end of 2007. Soft drink consumption is expected to exceed 1,600,000 litres this year which would raise consumption per capita from 187 l in 2006 to 210 l.

Higher consumption of soft drinks was registered on the background of production concentration in the branch. For two years only the number of soft drink producers has decreased by ¼ and currently stands at 440. The lack of sufficient financial and staff resource to cover the food safety and quality standards makes a growing number of small company owners terminate their activities.

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