Bulgaria’s beer sales fall to 1991 levels

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The Bulgarian beer industry has recorded another year of dwindling sales, falling to levels last seen in 2006 and 1991, the private Bulgarian television channel bTV reported.
Total sales in 2010 dropped by 4.5 per cent on 2009 levels. It appears that beer consumption has been hit by the global economic crunch, resulting in two consecutive years of decline.
According to the report, the decline is attributed to people opting for “cheaper” beer and “drinking at home” rather than visiting pubs and restaurants. The sale of glass bottles was losing ground to beer sold in larger and cheaper plastic containers. In 2010, 37 per cent of the market share went to the more traditional glass bottles and 53.6 per cent to plastic bottles, while draught beer accounted for only 5.6 per of the total. Canned beer came last at 3.8 per cent.
The market tendencies in Bulgaria were presented at the conference of the Union of Bulgarian Brewers in Bulgaria, where it was reported that its members collectively accounted for a 1.3 per cent drop in sales, down to 4.8 million hectolitres. These are Zagorka, Kamenitsa, Carlsberg, Bolyarka and Lom beer.
Carlsberg, for example, recorded a decline of between seven and eight per cent. Additionally, beer sales over Christmas and the holiday season were between 10 and 30 per cent down in places, Alexander Grancharov, executive director of Shoumansko Beer told Dnenvik daily.