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Ivo Dimitrov: The coffee market is currently BGN 420 million. We expect it to grow by 6% this year

The Coffee and Premium Spirits Director at Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria speaks to Capital about the trends in the coffee market and the growth of the company's portfolio

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How did the pandemic affect the coffee market in Bulgaria? What is the trend in the last two years? How much is the market worth for 2021 in volume and value?

- In Bulgaria, approximately 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed per year, which is an average of one coffee per day from adults. According to our calculations based on Nielsen data, the market is around BGN 420 million. People continued to consume coffee during the pandemic, partially shifting from consumption in restaurants to consumption at home. Shopping through online retailers has also increased significantly, enabling customers to experiment with a variety of coffee brands. We can also see a significant trend of premiumization, with customers increasingly willing to pay more for a higher quality coffee. Globally, the Arabica variety represents over 70% of the total coffee consumption and in Bulgaria more and more people are turning to the taste and richness of aromas offered by this coffee variety.

How are the sales developing in the first four months of this year?

- Costa Coffee continues to gain momentum and more and more consumers are recognizing the brand as "my coffee". Since the end of last year, we have enriched the 24/7 beverage portfolio of Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria with another brand - Caffe Vergnano, by acquiring a 30% ownership stake. The brand was founded 140 years ago in Northern Italy and is recognized as the oldest coffee roasting company on the peninsula. To this day, it is managed by the Vergnano family - now the fourth generation.

You can read the whole interview with Ivo Dimitrov on Capital.bg.