On-trade volume sales of beer fell by 32% in 2020 in light of the impact of COVID-19. Off-trade volume sales of beer, meanwhile, fell by 1% in 2020 due to COVID-19’s impact.
With sales of beer in Bulgaria heavily dominated by domestic lager, this is the product area that was inevitably most negatively affected by the COVID-19 situation in actual sales terms. In particular, domestic economy lager was hardest hit as the consumer base for this product, low-income people and those living in rural areas, curbed their spending on alcoholic drinks as a result of the economic pressures that have emerged in the wake of COVID-19.
In 2020, the three leading players in beer in Bulgaria remained Carlsberg Bulgaria AD, Kamenitza AD and Zagorka AD. These are all foreign-owned local entities offering mainly domestic lager brands, with Plovdiv-based Kamenitza owned by Molson Coors Brewing Co and Stara Zagora-based Zagorka owned by Heineken NV.
The shift towards home consumption as a result of COVID-19 is likely to remain an influence on the sales in Bulgaria for at least the initial stages of the forecast period. With alcohol consumption in general and beer drinking in particular considered a very social activity in Bulgaria, it is simply a matter of time before consumption returns to the on-trade, however.
Towards the end of the review period, significant steps were seen in the ongoing development of Bulgaria’s craft beer scene. This scene can now be accurately described as operating largely independently from the product area mainstream, which continues to revolve around domestic standard lager.
It is anticipated that Carlsberg Bulgaria AD, Kamenitza AD and Zagorka AD will remain the three leading players in beer in Bulgaria, as they are in a better position to withstand crises. They have the financial resources to develop and launch new products in different price segments and run marketing campaigns and price promotions, while being widely available through both the off-trade and on-trade channels.
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This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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