Consistency – the key to Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria’s success

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The Sales Director Yavor Stefanov talks about the company's challenges, innovations and next goals to Forbes

Mr. Stefanov, what innovations are you planning to introduce in the summer season to meet the expected increase in demand? With what innovations will you provoke the consumers’ interest in the portfolio of Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria?

As with most companies in the FMCG sector, the summer season is extremely important for our sales and product performance. Moreover, according to the Ministry of Tourism, we expect around 15% growth in tourism this summer. This requires serious preparation, which traditionally starts in the middle of the previous year as part of the business planning process.

The preparation continues through different levels to reach a special and important for us annual initiative – the so-called MIT (Market Impact Team), in which traditionally all colleagues from all teams in the Coca-Cola System in Bulgaria have the opportunity to participate.

The aim is to prepare together as many sites as possible from all over the country for the start of the new season. I would like to say a big thank you to the 280 teams of 400 participants who visited 2,000 customers in nearly 100 locations at the beginning of June to ensure that our performance will be at the highest level. I am convinced that this enthusiasm and effort is also appreciated by our customers and consumers, to whom we are striving to be ever closer.

In this regard, we are also counting on eight new products in different packaging and categories that we believe will contribute significantly to the overall sales growth this year. We are focusing on sugar-free beverages and the still portfolio. For example, Cappy Lemonade Pineapple & Lemon Zero Sugar and FUZETEA Iced Tea Lime & Mint Low Sugar are responding to the market trends and showing strong potential for value growth compared to last year. On the other hand, we are also relaunching Powerade with two fresh flavors that enter the fast-growing isotonic beverage segment.

Alongside this, we are providing the necessary focus on our core Coca-Cola brand with this year's strongest innovation – Coca-Cola Cherry and Coca-Cola Cherry Zero Sugar, which reached nearly 15,000 outlets in the first two months of launch.

This year is also particularly special for Coca-Cola as one of the main sponsors of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. We have planned a strong national campaign for Bulgarian consumers, offering them to experience the roots of the Olympic Games. Large-scale visibility across thousands of sites and the opportunity for every consumer to try their luck for special prizes will give the summer a strong start.

The full interview with the Sales Director about the current market trends, the advantages of our portfolio and team, opportunities for development in the company, the role of consistency on the road to success and much more can be found on the website of Forbes Bulgaria.