Bulgaria continues to see outstanding results in the fight against cigarette illegal trade. Indeed, the country now has one of the lowest levels of illegal sales in the EU according to official sources.
Forecourt retailers continue to emerge as a distribution channel for tobacco products, including cigarettes, with gas stations experiencing dynamic growth, especially in terms of retail area. The growing popularity of travel among Bulgarian consumers is also boosting the number of people transiting through gas stations.
Bulgaria has one of the highest levels of adult smoking prevalence rates in the EU. The country also has a particularly high smoking prevalence rate among female consumers, with slim and ultra slim cigarettes thus proving popular due to their more elegant image.
In Bulgaria, point of sale advertising and marketing is not yet banned. Tobacco brand owners like KT International are taking advantage of this to invest in marketing activity, with popular point of sale tactics including the offering of digital screens at cashiers featuring new launches.
Following the acquisition of Bulgartabac in 2017, BAT became a strong leader within cigarettes in Bulgaria, offering a vast brand portfolio. In 2018, the company focused on streamlining its products by migrating some legacy Bulgartabac brands under its Rothmans umbrella brand.
Phillips Morris posted outstanding growth in cigarettes in 2018, with the company pioneering the introduction of heated tobacco products under its breakthrough smoke-free IQOS range. The new heated tobacco technology targets adult smokers who want to quit smoking or switch to reduced harm alternatives.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tobacco market research database.