Several retailers, including the Co-op and Morrisons, have taken Russian-made vodka off their shelves, in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, the Co-op said the decision is a “sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine”. The company said “Russian-made vodka” will “not be stocked for the foreseeable future”.
A spokesperson for the Co-op confirmed to Drinks Retailing that the only brand that would be affected is Roust’s Russian Standard vodka.
“Our members and customers will also be able to support the humanitarian response to help those displaced by the conflict by donating at our stores to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal,” a spokesperson for the Co-op said. “The appeal will launch across our 2,600 stores and we’ll be match funding our customers’ donations up to £100,000. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who oppose this invasion.”
Morrisons has also removed Russian Standard as well as Red Square from its shelves. Its online listings for the vodkas feature a notice that reads: “We no longer stock this item.”
A spokesperson for Morrisons said the supermarket has donated £250,000 to the DEC. “We have taken action on our vodka lines including delisting Russian Standard,” the spokesperson added. “The product is longer available on our website and no further stock will be bought.”
Smaller retailers have also taken to social media to share their decision to take Russian vodka off the shelves. The Local in Ulverston said yesterday, via Instagram, that it has removed Russian-sourced vodka.
A spokesperson for Russian Standard in the UK told Drinks Retailing: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic events unfolding in the Ukraine. We are working closely with our grocery partners, regarding Russian Standard Vodka. We respect any decisions they make and will continue to support them in anyway we can.”