Few local brands have survived time in Macedonia, but one brand has survived all of this and achieved absolute cult status: the Strumka!
Refreshing, sparkling, and a fruity-sweet taste of pear is the gold-colored drink that every child in Macedonia knows. Or the offshoots of other companies or breweries that are generally referred as Gazoza.
This iconic soda is made in Strumica, a city in southeast Macedonia.
The company behind the cult brand Strumka is called Grozd (Грозд). This is the name of the manufacturer who, by the way, also produces another iconic drink with a worldwide reputation: the high-proof aniseed brandy Mastika. With these two products, Grozd even achieved sales in the millions (according to the Macedonian business magazine around 4 million euros in 2019).
Grozd itself is a winery, but also produces high-proof alcoholic drinks as well as the delicious drink Strumka and a wider range of non-alcoholic drinks. The company was founded in 1953. Whereby, as the manufacturer Grozd himself states, “three hundred year old tradition of manufacturing the world-famous Strumica Mastika is being preserved by us”.
But Grozd also had tough times behind its history. After the transformation of the capital, Grozd Strumica was organized as a privately owned company with the main activity of producing and trading alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages of high quality and rich tradition. The conversion was a bit bumpy, but in the end it worked and was a success. Thank goodness one would like to say at this point, what we have done without a glass of cold Strumka?
Top products like the Strumka were of course a helpful factor. Now AD Grozd Strumica even has an ISO certificate for quality management and a certificate for environmental management, so nothing stands in the way of further success or expansion.
It is a respected company in Macedonia as well as regionally in the Balkans, as I said with sales in the millions, which works with many companies as suppliers, distributors and other employees. The products are also known abroad: USA, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and of course the Balkan region such as Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria etc.
The aim of the company’s management is to improve the traditionally high quality of the products as much as possible in order to then enable market entry throughout the European Union and beyond.
Strumka and Mastika – Grozd’s best sellers
Grozd’s production includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic soft drinks, including: as mentioned, the famous Strumica-Mastika and Strumka, but also various types of wine, refreshing juices and a line for bottling and packaging mineral water.
Within the “Grozd” company, the winery is located with its own vineyards of around 700 hectares of beautiful terroir, in which almost all modern and world-famous as well as local grape varieties are grown. The result are high quality table wines from Strumica.
The leading product in the company’s product range is clearly the famous Strumica Mastika. A natural alcoholic drink made from an extremely natural raw material – the highest quality wine distillate and natural aniseed, which contains essential oils that give the Mastika its unique aroma.
The quality and originality of Strumica-Mastika is confirmed by the numerous awards and recognitions at domestic and foreign trade fairs and manifestations.
When it comes to soft drinks, however, the iconic Strumka is the absolute hit. The range of non-alcoholic drinks does not only include the traditional Strumka, one of the few non-alcoholic drinks of this specific type with its specific pear aroma.
Other non-alcoholic drinks that Grozd produces are the house brand “Lipo”, a lemon and orange flavored lemonade, its own “Bitter Lemon” variant which also carries the popular brand name as a variation named “Strumka Bitter Lemon”. Then the “Black Jack Cola” and last bot not least, the natural carbonated spring water called “Dlabinska”.
The Strumka is mainly intended for the market in Macedonia, but is also exported to the countries of the former Yugoslavia, Europe and America. In German-speaking countries you can find Strumka in so-called Balkan shops, but you can also get a pack of Strumka online.