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Baby Food in Bulgaria

Issue 1, January 2021

Date: 02/02/2021 Comments: 0
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Baby Food in Bulgaria
Health consciousness drives growth of baby food, despite shrinking consumer base
Bulgaria’s birth rate is falling, as many young couples migrate to Western Europe in search of better employment prospects. Nevertheless, as COVID-19 places health at the top of the global agenda, there will be increased demand for higher priced organic baby food, thus supporting the growth of baby food in 2020. The preference for organic baby food is especially visible in millennial parents, due to rising health consciousness and better public education about the potentially harmful effects of various pesticides and artificial ingredients. Therefore, like 2019, 2020 will see current retail value sales grow at a faster pace than retail volume sales of baby food. 
Private label becomes increasingly important in 2020’s uncertain economic climate
In 2020, Ganchev AD and Slancho OOD will remain the most popular Bulgarian producers of baby food. While domestic producers will enjoy increased popularity in 2020, they will face increasing competition from private label baby food. As young families cope with the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, they will be increasingly attracted by private label’s reasonable prices. Retail chains and discounters are expanding in Bulgaria, most notably Lidl and dm-Drogerie Markt, thus widening availability of their respective private label products: Lupilu and Babylove. With its 2020 announcement of reduced unit prices for its Lupilu range, Lidl will capitalise on the state backed VAT decrease from 20% to 9%, during the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021. Furthermore, Lidl and dm Bulgaria were ahead of domestic producers in launching organic prepared baby food, as well as expanding their portfolios with new flavours and products with high potential, such as baby biscuits, fruit snacks and juices.
Lockdown limits growth of other baby food in 2020
In 2019 and early 2020, the culture of increased snacking fuelled the growth of other baby food. The growing demand for convenience boosted purchases of baby food products which facilitate consumption outside the home, with products such as baby biscuits and juices often consumed during extended stays at the park. Therefore, the home seclusion of most Bulgarians during the country’s two month-state of emergency reduced the demand for such products. As concerns about contracting COVID-19 continue to limit outdoor activities in 2020, other baby food will not grow at its pre-pandemic rate. However, fruit snacks and juices will continue to perform well in 2020, thanks to the availability of organic products and a wide range of flavour variants. The introduction of new products, such as rice cakes, fruit snacks and fruit bars, will also boost consumer interest in other baby food in 2020. 

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