No Russian oil, nor mixed drinks either. Consumers, governments and businesses around the world this week began a boycott against Russian vodka, as a way to demonstrate against the invasion of Ukraine ordered by Vladimir Putin’s government. Authorities have already banned its marketing in 11 of the 50 states in the United States, some areas of Canada, and in Norway, Finland and Sweden. Likewise, bars, liquor stores and even supermarkets in the UK and Latvia, two of the three major importers of these products, are removing the distillate from their shelves.
The research company IWSR claims that only about 14% of the world’s production of this drink comes from Russia. The producers want this to be clear. Some of the most famous brands like StolichnayaHe quickly distanced himself from the Russian heritage he previously alluded to: “Stoli has a long history of fighting repression by the Russian regime. The Stoli vodka brands and its owner Yuri Scheffler have been exiled from Russia for nearly two decades,” the company said in a statement. Their web and social media, they show an illustration of a dove in Ukrainian colors, accompanied by text showing that their product is now made in Latvia.
The Smirnoff brand, which is owned by Britain’s Diageo Group, has taken similar measures to indicate that it has no connection with the Putin regime. Although on their website they allocate extensive lines to the narration of the creation of their drink in Moscow, its presence in Romanov warehouses and their exile after the Russian Revolution; The brand now explicitly details on its social media that the brandy is “proudly made in America”.
But the blow was accurate against brands that could not escape the image crisis. Just three days before the invasion began, the Beluga Group, the Russian vodka manufacturer of the same name, announced its inclusion in the British FTSE Emerging Small Cap Index, which includes benchmark companies from emerging European countries with small or medium capital. . Now, the company is facing not only a ban on trading its products, but also listing them on stock exchanges. The FTSE kicked them out of the aforementioned index and sales of their titles, which are down as much as 31%, have been frozen due to the penalties.
Everything indicates that the campaign will have more moral than economic impact. According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in November 2021, exports of Russian wines accounted for only 0.06% of the country’s total sales abroad. It should be noted that most of the vodka produced in Russia is consumed inside the country.
Already in Spain, the Spanish Federation of Spirits reported that, for the time being, it is not aware that this expedition has yet reached the Spanish distributors.
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