In Hungary and Bulgaria, the pet industry is benefitting from economic growth. Dimitar Popov of HobbyFirst and Daniel Kiss of Infinity Trade give their visions on the Bulgarian and Hungarian pet industries.
Black and white
The economic development is slow but sure, although both countries still lag behind the Western European countries. “For the Bulgarian pet industry, this has to do with the way we think,” says Dimitar Popov, Export Sales Manager for HobbyFirst. According to Popov, Bulgarians are very emotional.
“They buy only if it feels right. This does not necessarily have to be the best product at the right price. They either love a product or they hate it. It’s so black and white in Bulgaria that it’s a complicated market for western companies that are used to rationally thinking consumers.”
Strike the right emotional chord
“For western companies that want to enter the Bulgarian market, advertising in newspapers and magazines is a must,” continues Dimitar Popov. “Besides that, Bulgarians like to meet the people behind the product. So you have to find a way of getting into direct contact with the end consumer. If the consumer has a good feeling about that person, there’s a big chance that they will buy his product. The Bulgarian consumer also likes beautifully designed and packaged products. Strike the right emotional chord and they are prepared to pay top dollar. That’s why brand value and loyalty play a major role in Eastern Europe.”
According to Daniel Kiss, CEO of the Hungarian company Infinity Trade, the Hungarian pet industry still has a long way to go. “After the fall of communism, the Hungarian economy was restructured into a market economy and this has almost been completed now. The reason why it is still not going too well across the board is the limited domestic demand for pet products and the slow growth of traditional export markets like Russia.” According to Kiss, Hungarians are hard workers, and inexpensive. “That’s why a lot of foreign investors are building factories and exporting from there. At the moment, the industrial sector is growing much faster than agriculture or the services sector, and is actually driving economic growth.”
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