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PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Join Companies In Suspending Operations In Russia
Retail Economy Inside An X5 Retail Group NV Supermarket As Russia Nears End Of Recession A customer browses a display of soft drinks including Coca-Cola Co. products inside a Perekrestok supermarket, operated by X5 Retail Group NV in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. X5 says its interested in technologies for online payments in stores, personalized promotions based on big data and using robots in logistics. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg / Contributor
Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

On Tuesday, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola joined other companies in announcing they would be suspending business in Russia due to the country’s invasion of nearby Ukraine.

“The Coca-Cola Company announced today that it is suspending its business in Russia,” Coca-Cola confirmed in a release. “Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation as circumstances evolve.”

The impact for each company will be felt on different levels. 

As CNBC reported, “In a regulatory filing, Coke said its business in Ukraine and Russia contributed about 1% to 2% of its consolidated net operating revenue and operating income in 2021. Pepsi, on the other hand, generates roughly 4% of its annual revenue in Russia, though it is not halting all business in the country.”

CEO Ramon Laguarta wrote to PepsiCo associates, “given the horrific events occurring in Ukraine we are announcing the suspension of the sale of Pepsi-Cola, and our global beverage brands in Russia, including 7Up and Mirinda. We will also be suspending capital investments and all advertising and promotional activities in Russia.”

“As a food and beverage company, now more than ever we must stay true to the humanitarian aspect of our business,” Laguarta noted, adding the company has “a responsibility to continue to offer our other products in Russia, including daily essentials such as milk and other dairy offerings, baby formula and baby food.”

Companies around the world have responded to the crisis in Ukraine. A list by Yale Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld has received attention as it tracks information about the status of companies’ business dealings in Russia.

On Tuesday, the list noted that Coca-Cola is suspending “certain operations in Russia.”

As The Daily Wire reported on Tuesday, McDonald’s announced it would be temporarily shutting down 850 of its locations in Russia, pointing to “the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”

In a letter to McDonald’s employees and franchisees, CEO Chris Kempczinski confirmed, “McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market.” 

He added, “the Company has provided immediate financial support to our team in Ukraine. We are continuing to pay full salaries for our Ukrainian employees and have donated $5 million to our Employee Assistance Fund, and continue to support relief efforts led by the International Red Cross in the region.”

He also noted that salaries will continue to be paid to all McDonald’s employees in Russia. The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in Russia will also carry on its full operations, “just as RMHC Ukraine is partnering with local hospitals and providing humanitarian aid throughout the country.” 

McDonald’s recently received criticism because it hadn’t spoken out against the war and maintains a relatively large presence in Russia. 

Consumers are eyeing other major chains as some make decisions to close down locations in Russia.

Yum Brands announced it would be suspending its development of restaurants and investment in the country. “The KFC owner has more than 1,000 restaurants in Russia that account for roughly 2% of its systemwide sales,” CNBC noted.  

Starbucks also has around 130 locations throughout Russia and Ukraine that are wholly owned and operated by a licensed partner. On Tuesday, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote that the company continues “to watch the tragic events unfold and, today, we have decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products.”

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