A report from the Athens News Agency states that olive oil exports from Greece to Bulgaria have increased fourfold over the last four years. The findings, which were based on a report from the Greek embassy in the capital Sofia, show an increased preference for Greek olive oil among the roughly 7.5 million people in the Southern European country.
Greek olive oil has been steadily grown in popularity in Bulgaria, beating out more popular varieties from Spain and Italy. Greece, the third largest olive oil producer in the world, is known for high quality olive oil. About 80 percent of olive oil bottled in the country is classed as extra virgin.
The report adds that prospects for Greek olive oil remain favorable in the Balkan country. The report, which was put together in December, omitted the financial details for Greek olive oil exports in the country. The findings support the notion that Bulgarians are starting to convert to a healthier diet.
However, olive oil in general still lags in popularity in Bulgaria behind the more popular choice, sunflower oil. Olive oil’s standing among Bulgarian consumers can be attributed to its price, which is significantly higher than processed sunflower oil. The olive oil market in Bulgaria is composed of about 20 brands pegged on different price segments. Competing olive oil products in the country include Italian brands such as Filippo Berio, Costa d’Oro and Spanish imports like Borges and Hojiblanca.
“What Greek producers need to realize is that their basic competitors are Italian and secondly the Spanish. Other countries, such as Turkey, do not have our tradition in olive oil nor our variety of products,” the study said.
“Bulgarian cuisine, particularly in terms of salads and pies, is similar to Greece’s, providing an opportunity for the further promotion of Greek olive
oil in the neighboring market.”
Source: Athens News Agency