Beluga vodka

Source: Specialty Brands

Specialty Brands confirmed it had ‘ceased all support for the brand’ following the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian brand Beluga Vodka has disappeared from sale amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

When approached by The Grocer, its UK distributor Speciality Brands confirmed it had “ceased all support for the brand for the foreseeable future” following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It was “with profound sadness and concern that we’ve been witnessing the evolution of the situation in Ukraine”, Speciality Brands MD Chris Seale told The Grocer.

“As a company, we have worked closely with the team at Beluga, many of whom are experiencing the conflict first-hand with family and friends in Ukraine,” he said.

“Beluga as a brand stands for peace, nevertheless we have ceased all support for the brand for the foreseeable future,” Seale added.

The spirits brand, which was previously stocked at Waitrose and Harvey Nichols, has been removed from both retailers’ websites.

The brand’s own website has also been taken down.

A spokeswoman for Waitrose confirmed Beluga had been delisted as part of the John Lewis Partnership’s commitment to remove products made in Russia.

Beluga had been the only Russian vodka brand listed by the retailer at the time, which had not sold Russian Standard since 2019, she added.

The Grocer has approached Harvey Nichols for comment.

It comes as retailers have hurriedly removed Russian products from sale over recent days, following pressure from consumers to do so.

The Grocer last week (4 March) reported that Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and the Co-op had delisted Russian Standard Vodka.

The brand has since disappeared from Tesco and Asda, too.

Tesco confirmed it had delisted the brand.

A spokesman told The Grocer: “We will not be buying products from businesses that are wholly Russian-owned and we are supporting humanitarian relief efforts through our partnerships with the Red Cross, food banks and other relief organisations to help those affected in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.”

At the time of writing 30cl, 70cl and one-litre formats were flagged as ‘unavailable’ on Asda’s website. Asda has been approached for comment.