Sofia had been one of the company’s largest Kit Kat production centers in Europe and the company now has further capacity for the brand.
70% of production at Sofia is exported, mainly to Europe, but also Canada and Australia.
Emilia Klayn, corporate affairs manager for Nestlé Bulgaria, told ConfectioneryNews that the Bulgarian market was a challenge.
“The Bulgarian confectionery market is not growing,” said Klayn.
“The challenging economic situation of the last several years on local and global level has become the reason for a changing market behavior – both on the side of the main players and on the side of consumers. Overall, the market is dynamic and in the last three years we have witnessed periods of both growth and decline. “
She said that Bulgarian consumer tastes differed somewhat from Western European - for example Bulgarians have a greater preference for wafers, she said.
Euromonitor International valued the Bulgarian chocolate market at €163.4m ($223m) in 2013. The research organization expects retail value sales to climb to €229.6m ($313m) in 2018.
According to its figures, Nestlé is the second leading chocolate firm in Eastern Europe for retail value sales with a 22.4% share in 2013. Mondelēz International is the leader in the region with a 42.9% share.
Nestlé Bulgaria invested BGN 12.8m ($8.9m) on the Kit Kat expansion.
Bulgarian press had reported that the extension would create 100 jobs, but Klayn said that while 100 people would work on the new line, they were already employed by Nestlé.