In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic there was a notable trend towards stockpiling by Bulgarians, some of whom purchased stacks in order to avoid the health risks of waiting in queues for cigarettes on a daily basis. However, bulk buying was evident only for a short period in March-April and did not lead to supply issues in 2020.
In 2020 tobacco companies introduced premium brand extensions in the mid price band. For example, Imperial Brands launched Davidoff Reach and Davidoff Shape.
The closure of on-trade establishments as part of the measures to control the spread of COVID-19, together with a devastated tourism season, had a negative impact on cigarette consumption in 2020. The mass summer season is usually an important driver of tobacco consumption, including cigarettes, as Bulgaria has the lowest prices for tobacco and alcohol in the EU.
Despite the expected economic uncertainty after the devastation of the global COVID-19 pandemic, cigarette consumption is likely to register moderate growth in 2021. No significant price increases are expected until 2022 when measured in constant 2020 terms.
The steady migration from economy price to mid-price cigarettes is likely to continue over the forecast period, driven by the expansion among international brand owners into the lower mid price segment. International cigarettes are often only BGN0.
Despite the high levels of illicit trade in Bulgaria, it is expected that the economic crisis and predicted political instability will not lead to any increase in these types of sales over the forecast period. In 2020 and in 2021 agents of the Ministry of Interior and Customs apprehended a number of illegal “garage cigarette manufacturers”, which is an indicator that the fight against the illegal market is far from over.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Cigarettes industry in Bulgaria with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
If you're in the Cigarettes industry in Bulgaria, our research will help you to make informed, intelligent decisions; to recognise and profit from opportunity, or to offer resilience amidst market uncertainty.
This report originates from Passport, our Cigarettes research and analysis database.
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