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Russian vodka sales plummet in the UK

Sales of Russian vodka have seen a ‘significant’ downturn in the UK following the Ukraine invasion, according to market analyst Nielsen IQ.

Russian standard new bottle
Russian Standard’s sales have declined in the UK since the Ukraine invasion

By Kate Malczewski

Earlier this month, several major supermarkets removed Russian vodka from their shelves, including the Russian Standard brand, which is distilled in St Petersburg. The UK government also placed a 35% tariff on Russian goods such as vodka.

These actions have had a measurable impact on the spirit’s sales, new Nielsen IQ research has revealed.

The value of the total Russian vodka category is currently down by 7% year on year; volume is down by 6%.

Russian Standard’s value has decreased by 18.1%, and its volume sales have fallen by 16.2%.

Furthermore, sales of Russian Standard have dropped from £2.2 million (US$2.9m) in the week ending 26 February 2022 to £559,000 (US$734,000) in the week ending 12 March.

Nielsen IQ said the delisting of Russian Standard in the UK has left an opportunity gap of £111m (US$145.8m) in the vodka category.

Meanwhile, Halewood-owned vodka brand JJ Whitley – which moved its production from Russia to England this month in response to the invasion – has posted a ‘slight decline’, with sales falling from £979,000 (US$ 1.3m, week ending 26 Februrary) to £715,000 (US$939,000, week ending 12 March).

Nielsen IQ noted that UK retailers continue to stock JJ Whitley in light of the brand’s move to the UK.

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