Source: Unilever

Unilever will continue to sell ‘everyday essentials’ in Russia

Unilever has suspended all imports and exports of its products to and from Russia in protest at its invasion of Ukraine.

The fmcg giant’s CEO Alan Jope said in a statement it continued to “condemn the war in Ukraine as a brutal and senseless act by the Russian state”.

In addition to stopping all imports and exports, it has cancelled all of its media and advertising spend in Russia. 

“We will not invest any further capital into the country, nor will we profit from our presence in Russia” said Jope, although he added Unilever would continue to supply everyday essential goods made in Russia itself to people in the country. 

Unilever has also stopped its business operations in Ukraine and was “now fully focused on ensuring the safety of our Ukranian employees and their families, including helping with their evacuation where necessary, and providing additional financial support”, Jope said.

It has commited to donating €5m of its products to the ongoing humanitarian relief effort. 

Unilever isn’t the only major food & drink company to cut ties with Russia this week. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s and Starbucks have all suspended operations.

Coke has suspended its business in the country, while Pepsi said it would stop selling Pepsi Cola and other brands, and end all capital investments, advertising and promotional activities in Russia.

However, like Unilever, the wider PepsiCo group said it would continue to make other daily essentials like milk, baby formula and babyfood. Fast food behemoth McDonald’s, too, has temporarily closed 800 of its restaurants in Russia.

The conflict has hit Russian brands in the UK too. Major supermarkets have, for instance, slashed Russian Standard vodka from their shelves.

Beluga Vodka, too, has disappeared from sale, with its UK distributor cutting ties, The Grocer revealed yesterday.