Beer sales in Bulgaria slump amid rainy summer, weaker tourist season

Bulgaria’s rainy summer 2019 and weaker tourist season have resulted in a drop in beer sales by up to five per cent, the Brewers Union said.

Unless the trend changes, expectations for market outcomes by the end of the year are not optimistic.

At the beginning of the summer 2019 season, 55 per cent of adult Bulgarians had been drinking beer at least once a week, and for 60 per cent, beer is their drink of choice, according to surveys commissioned by the Brewers Union.

The Brewers Union represents almost all major companies and together, its members produce 98 per cent of the beer drunk in Bulgaria.

There are more than 120 brands of beer on sale in Bulgaia, and excise duties and VAT brought in amount to about 130 million leva, the union said.

Capital investments by brewing companies amounted to 20 million leva in the first half of 2019.

In 2018, 5.5 million hectolitres of beer were sold in Bulgaria. The turnover of breweries was close to 480 million leva.

Per capita consumption of beer in Bulgaria in 2018 was 75 litres. The highest rate of beer consumption in Bulgaria was in Montana and Rousse.

Thirty-five new beer products came on to the market in 2018. Imports of beer added up to 308 000 hectolitres, and exports added up to 187 000 hectolitres, an increase of 44 per cent.

The Brewers Union said that sales of beer in cans was rising while sales of beer in plastic bottles was dropping.

Sales of beer in hotels, restaurants and cafes had been stagnating for 10 years. In 2018, eighty per cent of the beer sold was at shops.

According to a number of Bulgarian and international studies about the attitude towards beer, a traditionally high rating is most influenced by the taste and variety of beer, its specifics as a natural product and the perception of beer as a drink suitable for all occasions.

The biggest beer lovers in Bulgaria are men aged 40-49 who drink beer 10-11 times a month.

Among women, the most active beer enthusiasts are in the same age group, but they drink beer six times a month.

(Photo: pavlo araujo/



The Sofia Globe staff

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