CONSUMPTION OF MINERAL WATER GOES UP
According to the Association of Soft Drinks Producers, Bulgarian people have drunk 13.4% more mineral water in 2003 than they have a year earlier. In fact, this is the most dynamically growing sector of the branch. In 2003, the whole amount of drunk mineral water reached 324 million litres. The increased demand is due to the bad quality of drinking water in the big towns, as well as the affordable price and the variety of types and bottles of mineral water. At present, there are about 50 trade-marks of bottled mineral and table water for sale in Bulgaria, packed in bottles of 0.175 to 10 litres. Experts pay special attention to the market of mineral water packed in 19.4 l cans which can be installed to water cooling and water heating systems in offices and business centres. Thanks to these systems, personnel in these buildings is able to prepare hot or cold drinks for themselves. In 2003, demand for these appliances was 33% higher than it was in 2002. In the current year it is expected to grow by further 25-35 per cent.Bottled mineral water has been taking away market share from the soda drinks for three years now. While soda is still more demanded, this trend is expected to change by the end of 2004. The good news for soda drinks producers is the increased consumption of products with fruit and exotic flavours. Their total consumption reached 424 million litres in 2003 and will go up by some 4 ot 5% by the end of 2004.