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Hungarian and Bulgarian wine prospects in UK market

Brookes, G.
British food journal 1993 v.95 no.7 pp. 33-36
wines, food marketing, exports, United Kingdom, Hungary, Bulgaria
The fundamental political and economic reforms taking place in Eastern and Central Europe pose some difficult questions for the future of the agri-food industries in Hungary and Bulgaria. A major sector facing the problems of transition to a market economy is wine, traditionally an important source of export earnings. The loss of the volume markets in the former COMECON countries has forced the wine sectors to look to West European markets and the UK in particular, where wine consumption is rising. Hungary is currently a minor source of wine in the UK and has a generally poor reputation in servicing the requirements of the market. Bulgaria now accounts for over 3 per cent of the UK's total wine imports and is perceived widely to be an example of highly successful marketing. This is due largely to tight control over export activities by a former state-controlled export body. Since the fall of Communism, this control has been weakened as individual wineries export on their own account--undermining the consistency of marketing effort. Overall both Hungary and Bulgaria have the potential to meet the wine import requirements of the UK wine buyers, although both have to overcome common and divergent problems of transition and are developing from different historical bases.