The maker of Stolichnaya vodka announced its major rebranding on Friday, in direct response to its founder’s “hardline stance” against the Putin regime and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The company said in a statement that the vodka, which is best known for being marketed as Russian, will be sold and marketed simply as Stoli.
The founder of the Stoli Group, Russian-born billionaire Yuri Scheffler, was exiled from that nation in 2000 for his opposition to Putin. The liquor has long been marketed as Russian vodka, but its production facilities have been in Latvia since that year. Stoli Group is a unit of Luxembourg-based SPI Group.
The company also cited The desire of its employees to take action and provide an accurate representation of the roots of vodka in Latvia.
Earlier this week, Stoli Group announced that it would only use Slovak sources to make sure None of its ingredients were sourced from Russia.
Officials in states from Ohio to New Hampshire called liquor stores To remove Russian or Russian brand products From their shelves – which means in most cases vodka. Some bar owners even have dumped Vodka will take over in protest.
These boycotts and protests is not likely to have a significant effect, However. Russian-made vodka accounts for a very small percentage of annual vodka sales of about $7 billion, according to the Distilled Liquor Council (DISCUS), a national trade organization representing spirits makers.
In the United States, less than 1% of vodka consumption is produced in Russia. More than half of the vodka consumed domestically is actually made in the United StatesAnd the According to data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, a global company that tracks alcohol sales.
CNN’s Jordan Valinsky contributed to this story.
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