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Ivo Dimitrov: “Bulgarian whiskey lovers keep looking for the best quality”

Coffee & Premium Spirits Business Director of Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria talks in front of Forbes Bulgaria about market trends and innovations

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Why did Coca-Cola HBC decide to add to their portfolio Conor McGregor’s Proper № Twelve Irish Whiskey?

Irish Whiskey is characteristically mild in taste, it is obtained by triple distillation and is preferred by the consumers. In Bulgaria, the category is one of the fastest growing in recent years and more and more brands are finding a place in our market. It became the first choice of consumers in the “Restaurants” category as well. In conditions of a dynamic economic situation, what is important for the business is to seek development through proven, high-quality and recognizable brands. In this way, they complement already existing popular offers and build loyal relationships with the consumer. I can say that Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey is such a unique product. It represents great taste, high quality, and a strong brand identity, founded by Conor McGregor who is the most iconic figure in combat sports.

How the market of premium spirits beverages is developing in Bulgaria and what is the position of Coca-Cola HBC in this market?

Bulgaria is no exception, and as in a number of other areas of the FMCG sector, here the consumption preferences are provoked by global trends. The market continues to develop, looking for higher quality and variety, as well as mixed drinks that are refreshing and have a low alcohol index. According to the latest data, “Coca-Cola HBC” is the third largest distributor in terms of the value of premium spirits beverages in Bulgaria. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of our work in this category. We managed to consolidate our positions as one of the most stable partners on the market, operating with over 20 brands. The most iconic are Jack Daniel's, Finlandia, Jägermeister, Glendalough, The Macallan – in the luxury segment, Proper № Twelve Irish Whiskey from this year, and many others. A big part of them are leaders in their categories and they consolidate their positions, driven by the right strategy and focus on consumers and their preferences. We will continue to develop our 24/7 beverage portfolio with attractive offers for every part of the day. I am convinced Bulgaria's coffee and premium spirits business will continue to be among the strongest in the Coca-Cola HBC Group. A success made possible by the efforts of our exceptional team and the loyalty of our partners.

You can read the whole interview with Ivo Dimitrov here.