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How much will Bulgarians spend this Easter?

Снимки: БТА, БГНЕС

You tell me what you have on your table so I can tell you what you are celebrating. This is a joking way of looking at the Bulgarian calendar of holidays from ancient times to the present day. The truth is that holiday meals have always been a very important part of how we live and celebrate. Easter is no exception. This year, the great Christian holiday in Orthodoxy coincides with the eve of St George's Day, which Bulgarians celebrate on May 6 and which has its own culinary traditions.

"The Easter table traditionally includes the kozunak sweet Easter bread, roast lamb, a salad of either lettuce, radish and cucumber or tomato and cucumber, and of course coloured Easter eggs. There will be no compromises. Everything we need for Easter will be bought, even if it means depriving ourselves of other things. We have no choice. The prices are high! Compared to our income, it is expensive," Denitsa told Radio Bulgaria. She is already making a list of the products needed for her family's meal on May 5.
How much will an Easter meal cost in 2024?
Vladimir Ivanov, Chairman of the State Commission for Commodity Exchanges and Auctions, told BNR that prices will be relatively stable and the market will be in balance, and that the price value of the Easter meal will probably be the same as last year. According to him, the prices of basic foodstuffs, including basic fruit and vegetables, are slightly lower in the first half of April than in the same period last year.

Vladimir Ivanov
"In general, the consumer basket, if we buy one unit of everything, will be about BGN 108 (EUR 55). For comparison - last year it was 111 BGN. The decrease is insignificant and small, under 2%, but the important news is that we have a stable and sustainable balance of interaction and there is no movement indicating that we will see any sudden changes" - explained Vladimir Ivanov. He added that the price of lettuce is 16% below last year's level, sunflower oil - about 20%, eggs - about 5%. Dairy products are almost at the same level.

What are we seeing on the market?
The price of a kilogram of tomatoes in Sofia (as of April 15) is BGN 3-8 (EUR 1.54-4.1), cucumbers BGN 2.50-4.90 (EUR 1.28-2.51), a head of lettuce BGN 1. 20-1.80 (EUR 0.61-0.92), a bunch of radishes - BGN 1.50-2.70 (EUR 0.77-0.38), a bunch of fresh spring onions - BGN 1.30-2.90 (EUR 0.67-1.48) for organic production.

Whether the situation is different in other regions of Bulgaria was checked by BNR's correspondent in Kyustendil, Kiril Falin.

"Bulgarian vegetables are much more expensive than imported ones. Bulgarian tomatoes range from BGN 5.80 (EUR 2.97) to BGN 6.50 (EUR 3.33) per kilo. Imported ones - Turkish, Greek - are about BGN3 on average. Cucumbers - Bulgarian production is on the market, and those of the superior "Gergana" variety sell for BGN 5.50/kg (EUR 2.82). You can find them cheaper in large retail chains when they are on special offer. Of course, they advertise the cucumbers as Bulgarian, but the price tag tells you that they are not - for BGN 2.99 (EUR 1.53) there is no way that they can be locally produced," says a resident of Dupnitsa.

"Green and red peppers - one costs 6 leva (3.07 euro) per kilogram, the other 7 leva (3.58 euro). Well, traders can eat them themselves! Pork is 7 leva a kilo, I'll spend it on peppers. Outrageous! At Easter we eat lamb, without vegetables. We'll have some of the lamb left for St George's Day the next day. And the peppers and tomatoes for 10 leva, whoever sells them for that price can eat them," says a man from Kyustendil, outraged by the prices of vegetables.
"There is no such thing as a fair price. It is freely determined by supply and demand," says Vladimir Ivanov, chairman of the State Commission for Commodity Exchanges and Auctions, recommending that people avoid impulse buying and make informed purchases to avoid bad trading practices. But although the exchange reports a minimal drop in prices compared to last year, Bulgarians are not feeling it in their pockets. And as the holidays approach, prices often rise.

Kozunak - sweet easter bread.

"Every year we see a rise in prices, especially for home-grown produce and especially for tomatoes, which we consume very regularly," says Martin from Sofia. - Undoubtedly, price determines quality, and Bulgarian production has proven to be better, but it is also at least twice as expensive as imported products. To be honest, I am sceptical about the origin labels on the products in the big retail chains and I find it difficult to trace whether they are really Bulgarian or imported from abroad, but I have the impression that the quality in supermarkets is lower than in smaller shops and market stalls".

Whether we will dye Polish eggs again this year instead of Bulgarian ones is up to us. Vladimir Ivanov called on people to buy Bulgarian products for the Easter table to support local producers.

Story by Vesela Krasteva / based on interviews by Spas Kraynin and Natalia Ganchovska, BNR-Horizont and Kiril Falin, BNR cor. in Kyustendil/

Translated and posted by Elizabeth Radkova

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