Publix stops selling Russian vodka in support of Ukraine
Publix has joined a list of retailers that have decided to stop selling Russian vodka.
"Publix stands with the people of Ukraine," Director of Communications Maria Brous said Wednesday. "To show our support, we have decided to remove Russian-made vodka brands from our shelves."
Although printed ads will show Russian-made vodka this week, those circulars were printed weeks in advance and no vodka remains on the shelves, Brous said.
Publix's decision followed a similar move by Total Wine & More stores, which removed all Russian-made products from store shelves after Russia invaded Ukraine last week. Total Wine announced the decision on Facebook with a picture of an empty shelf.
The governors of a handful of states — including Utah, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania — have ordered state liquor stores to stop selling Russian-produced products.
Southeastern Grocers, the Jacksonville company that operates Winn-Dixie grocery stores, said it was supporting Ukraine in other ways, including a donation of 100% of the proceeds from its private label Ukrainian vodka for 31 days, a nod to Ukraine’s official declaration of independence nearly 31 years ago.
Southeastern Grocers also donated $250,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross to support Ukraine, said Meredith Hurley, director of public relations and community.
Hurley noted that Russian-made vodka makes up a small percentage of the company's sales.
Across the industry, boycotts of Russian vodka are not likely to have much more than a symbolic effect, anyway. Just over 1% of U.S. vodka imports came from Russia in the first half of 2021, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.