If there is one sure thing in Bulgaria it is that beer will always be in demand and there are a few reason for this. The main reason it that Bulgarian whose culture is deeply rooted into producing food and drink at home cannot make beer successfully. With wine and rakia these are homemade and many superior to commercial brands but with beer it is near on impossible to have a home brew that can compare to the Belgium owned masters brewers. There may be a dip in sales but the overall picture for beer sale with Bulgarian summers as they are must been bright. Even in winter the dark beer is just as popular and don’t forget last winter was the worse for many a year without gas from Russia this may have had an affect as well.
Investments in improving the quality of Bulgarian beer will not be curtailed despite slumping sales and the damage the ongoing global economic downturn is wreaking on the sector, industry representatives told a news conference on July 20 2009 to mark Brewers’ Day.
Pressure from foreign players, the cheap own brands of retailers entering the Bulgarian market and stiff foreign competition would not shatter the determination of local producers to pump fresh amounts into new development.
The pledge comes against the backdrop of a deteriorating market environment, sliding sales and dwindling tourist numbers.
But experts say that foreign brands are unlikely to come in without local production capacities.
Another factor helping local producers hold their ground is the clear market segmentation and exploration of all niches.
But local brewers are still unable to ship abroad at competitive prices matching the sizeable investment needed to back such an expansion. This is seen in the first-half figures for the sector, where a petty 1.1 per cent of the total 2 536 122 hectolitres produced was sold in international markets.
The Union of Brewers in Bulgaria (UBB) reported a four per cent decline in sales from January to June 2009, pinning the bulk of the blame on unfavourable weather conditions, tourist outflows and consumers’ increased price sensitivity.
Another major drag was the decrease in sales in outdoor bars and restaurants.
Market representatives made hazy forecasts about the industry but most were downbeat.
"I have faith in the Bulgarian market but I expect a grey future and a recovery not before mid-2010," Carlsberg Bulgaria executive director Aleksandar Grancharov said.
Executives vowed they would keep their workforce intact despite the economic hardships.
Last year the members of the industry union sold 5 373298 hectolitres of beer, a performance they might fail to match this year.Source: www.sofiaecho.com