Many companies left Russia due to the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions against the Russian Federation.
Coke was one of them; but, that’s not the end of the story.
Coca-Cola announced it was leaving the Russian market back in March 2022 as part of the global response to the invasion of Ukraine. Coca-Cola HBC, the Greek-owned company that bottled and sold Coke in Russia, switched to a new brand, Dobry Cola. Yet the U.S. soft drink giant remains the second most popular soda brand in Russia, and Russian businessmen are now reaping billions from it, reported The Bell.
Second place in the market goes to the original U.S. Coca-Cola. Despite the closure of its Russian production lines and other problems, it still holds 14% of the market. And now, its sales in Russia make money not for Greek businessmen, but Russian billionaires.
Coca-Cola’s fate in Russia is a good illustration of how the current combination of sanctions and “self-sanctioning” is unable to completely isolate Russia from the global economy. The Coca-Cola Company was able to improve its image in the eyes of clients and investors, albeit at the cost of lost profits. Meanwhile, Russian businessmen have gained more opportunities to earn from importing soda under the Coca-Cola brand name.