UBB: Bulgarians Still Drink the Cheapest Beer in Europe

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UBB: Bulgarians Still Drink the Cheapest Beer in Europe

Bulgarian brewers have a portfolio of 32 beer brands and 65 light and dark beers, it emerged at a press conference of the Union of Brewers in Bulgaria (UBB).

The number of Bulgarian beer brands will not increase considerably as the production capacity is limited, according to UBB chairman Vladimir Ivanov.

None of the domestic brewers believes that their portfolio may be diversified too much on a relatively limited market and against the backdrop of stiff competition, according to Ivanov.

Bulgarians continue to drink the cheapest beer in Europe, Ivanov added. Beer prices in shops range between 35 eurocents and 70-80 eurocents, something that cannot be seen on other European markets.

Beer price hike is prompted by the increase in the prices of electricity and raw materials. Beer prices, however, grow slower than the inflation rate in the country.

The prices of the beer have grown differently for the different brands. The increase stands at 8% on an annual basis within the Calrslberg group. Kamentza prices have grown slower that inflation, according to the company. At the same time Bulgarian brewers have a relatively low efficiency and this is something they have to invest in.

A total of 70 mln leva were invested in the Bulgarian brewing industry in the last six months, which compares to 77 mln leva investments for the entire 2007.

Investments are made mainly in expansion of output capacity, refrigeration, warehouses, new bottles, IT systems and advertising. The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship did not have a considerable effect on beer as it coincided with the strongest beer sales period.

This year UBB became the 26th member of the The Brewers of Europe organization.

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