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Governments, companies and consumers boycott Russian-made products

Governments, companies and consumers are banning and boycotting Russian-made products following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – with vodka bearing the brunt of anti-Russian sentiment.

Leading UK wine and spirits supplier Enotria&Coe said it was no longer ‘actively sourcing’ Russian products, and was planning to donate all profits from sales of current Russian stock to support victims of the war.

In an email to customers, managing directors Ants Rixon and Sam Thackeray provided information about a number of Russian vodka brands stocked by the company. These include Stolichnaya – made in Latvia and owned by Russian billionaire and Putin critic Yuri Shefler – and Russian Standard, owned by oligarch and Russian Standard Bank proprietor Roustam Tariko.

The company also listed non-Russian alternatives, such as Sweden’s Absolut, Ketel One from the Netherlands, and Grey Goose, distilled in France.

‘We wanted to give our customers more information about the history and current ownership of our top-selling vodkas, so they can make informed decisions about which products to list and pour,’ Rixon and Thackeray told Decanter.com. ‘We are currently working on a mechanic to donate all profits from sales of Russian products to support victims of the conflict.’

Research analyst GlobalData said the action would damage Russian vodka suppliers’ brand recognition and offer a spotlight to rival producers from other countries.

The company pointed out that the US government had sanctioned state-run liquor stores to stop selling Russian-made spirits, with many private operators following suit, and members of the public boycotting Russian goods.

Carmen Bryan, GlobalData consumer analyst, said brand loyalty was ‘heavily influenced’ by alignment to people’s values. ‘This puts Russian vodka brands in a precarious position, as prolonged conflict will not only damage immediate sales, but may also cause permanent disillusionment against Russian commodities in the long term,’ she added.

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