Ivo Dimitrov: Thanks to Costa Coffee and Caffè Vergnano, we have established a recognizable coffee portfolio

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Coca-Cola Coffee&Premium Spirits Business Director in an interview for "Capital"

Covid-19 also had some positive effects on coffee consumption. For example, the pandemic has led to an increase in interest in making coffee at home. Tell us about your positioning in this segment.

This period changed many consumer habits in different categories and coffee is one of the highly influenced. Although out-of-home consumption is recovering this year, making high-quality coffee at home remains stronger than ever. Costa Coffee is highly popular among the Bulgarian consumer with over 60% familiarity, which is the highest indicator compared to the countries of the region. The perception of the brand is that it is a modern coffee preferred by young people, offering a high quality, rich, and mild taste. Due to its characteristics, it is extremely suitable for preparation at home in various formats and systems - coffee robots for coffee beans, espresso machines for ground coffee, as well as a variety of capsule offers. Many consumers prefer their coffee drink in the form of cappuccino, latte, and other milk offerings. In this regard, in 2021 Coca-Cola HBC started its partnership with Caffé Vergnano, with Bulgaria being the first market in the group to start offering the popular Italian brand. Caffé Vergnano and Costa Coffee have great characteristics that make both their pure consumption and their combination with milk a real pleasure for the palate.

I am also glad that with the return of people to the offices after the end of the pandemic, we have been able to offer several original solutions for business through a wide range of proprietary blends and professional equipment that provide the highest quality to our customers, tailored to their needs.

At Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria you have a barista academy, which is led by one of the most respected baristas, Kiril Kirilov. Tell us more about the training you conduct.

In our coffee academy, people of different levels and experience are trained - coffee lovers, professional baristas, and coffee experts. With us, trainees also get the opportunity for certification. We also carry out samplings and quality control of the products that make up our portfolio. Our coffee expert has many years of experience in specialty coffee drinks and the ideal flavor components, which in the future will find an increasing application in mixology. For the past 12 years, he has become an ambassador not only for our brands but also for coffee culture. Barista training is one of the key elements for the development of the coffee industry. When our drink is prepared by a barista with high coffee expertise, we get the opportunity to enjoy a delicious and beautiful cup of coffee more often - a delight for all the senses.

The entire interview with Ivo Dimitrov can be found here.