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Bottled water sales on the rise in Bulgaria

Date: 29.10.2007

Eastern European consumption of bottled water was on the rise, with bottled water for coolers taking a gradually increasing share of the market, beverage consultancy Zenith International, said in a report, as quoted by Dnevnik daily on October 24.

Bottled water for coolers reached a 10 per cent share of the market in 2006 with more than 1.2 billion litres sold. Bulgaria followed the example of the rest of the region with sales of water in 19-litre plastic bottles growing by 40 per cent last year, and by another 10 per cent since the beginning of 2007.

More than 150 000 new bottled water coolers were bought for use in East Europe in 2006, bringing the total number of dispensers to 1.3 million, which was a 13 per cent increase compared to 2005.

The Eastern European water cooler market continued to flourish, in contrast to relatively flat sales for the more mature West European market, Zenith’s research director Gary Roethenbaugh said, as quoted by Dnevnik. The company saw a significant potential for growth in the region with 2007 expected to be another successful year, he said.

Russia was the leading country with a 36 per cent volume share, ahead of historic leader Poland now with 31 per cent.  There was a substantial gap before Romania at six per cent, followed by the Czech Republic and Ukraine, each with four per cent.

Almost all markets experienced substantial growth in 2006, with 12 of the 15 countries analysed exceeding a 15 per cent increase.  Growth was currently being led by Belarus with more than 40 per cent.  Meanwhile, countries within the European Union had an average nine per cent growth, heavily influenced by the large and mature Polish market.

Nestlé Waters was the leader in the region, with sizable operations in Poland and Russia.  Eden Springs came second, followed by the Clear Water Company in Russia, Gelsva in Lithuania and La Fantana in Romania.


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