As Russia remains relentless in its aggression against Ukraine, many around the world are doing their bit to punish Russian businesses. And even the choice of alcoholic beverages is now a decision point. To further aggravate Russian businesses in face of already severe sanctions imposed on Moscow, US consumers are shunting Russian-made vodka. At the same time, Ukrainian brands are seeing unprecedented sales as consumers believe that this is one of the ways to express their solidarity with the war-ravaged nation in these stressful times.
According to money.com, alcohol delivery service Drizly has said that since the war broke out, there has been a surge in the sale of Ukrainian vodka by a massive 225%. Specifically, Nemiroff, a leading brand in Ukraine, improved 60 positions to feature in the list of most preferred vodkas on the platform’s pecking order. Another brand from the war-torn nation Khor improved 15 spots.
In another such instance reported by AP, many bars and pubs across the US are removing Russian-made alcoholic spirits from their shelves. One bar quoted by AP said that he removed the Russian brand Stolichnaya and replaced it with Vektor which is distilled in Ukraine. In an unexpected fallout of the same, he said that many who were not regular in his establishment have started coming in after he made the announcement on Facebook.
In a related development, a liquor store in Southern Carolina saw spikes in sales of Ukrainian vodka label Kozak after it replaced Russian spirits on their shelves, the AP report added. Not just individuals, even politicians have made their stand clear on this matter. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton earlier last week had tweeted, “Dump all the Russian vodka and, alongside ammo and missiles, send the empty bottles to Ukraine to use for Molotov cocktails.”
States like Utah and New Hampshire have already banned the sale of Russian branded and Russian-made spirits from their government-managed distribution channels. Similarly, in Ohio, the government has decided that it will stop the sale and purchase of Russian brands of alcohol.
However, Russian spirits do not significantly contribute to the total imports of spirits in the country. In fact, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, Russian imports account for not more than 1%. Some of the more popular brands from Russia in the US are Russian Standard, Beluga Noble, Zyr Russian Vodka.
In order to prevent a similar unwitting consequence, Stoli, which is owned by Russian-born Yuri Shefler, on its website said, “Stoli Group stands for peace in Europe and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”