In protest against the war in Ukraine, several supermarket chains have stopped ordering products from Russia. Vodka, in particular, is a target, although it is often produced in other countries.
More and more retailers are reporting that they are banning Russian products from their assortment or at least suspending their orders. Belgian market leader Colruyt has stopped ordering products from Russia but continues to place as many orders as possible in Ukraine, a spokesperson told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. Less than thirty products are concerned, including food and non-food products.
Delhaize also took action and withdrew two products from its range: Russian Standard vodka and Kamchatka crab. However, it is not a boycott: the supply would in any case be disrupted by the war, assures the supermarket chain. Albert Heijn and crossroads say that they do not have Russian products in their assortment, and vodka in Belgium Aldi stores do not appear to be from Russia.
This also applies to well-known vodka brands such as Absolute (from Sweden) and Eristoff (from Georgia). Nevertheless, there is a risk that they will suffer a severe blow: on social networks, several hotel companies and consumers have indicated that they will no longer consume vodka for the time being.
The vodka ban is a European – and even global – phenomenon. Earlier this week, Aldi Nord was the first to announce that it would no longer sell vodka. Spirits was the only Russian product in the discounter’s line. Other German supermarket chains quickly followed suit: Aldi South, Rewe and Penny, among others, have already announced that they will no longer sell vodka. market leader Edeka supports sanctions but says the final decision is up to individual stores.
Supermarket chains from neighboring Russia and Ukraine are also taking a clear stance. In Poland, Biedronka, Carrefour, Lidl, Kaufland, Netto and Stokrotka take Russian and Belarusian products off their shelves. The same goes for Kesko in Finland and Maxima in Latvia.
Further, the governors of several United States ordered the removal of Russian spirits from the shelves. Other boycott campaigns are also taking place in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.