Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi suspend sales in Russia

Mar 9, 2022: Amid mounting pressure to act, McDonald’s announced on Tuesday that it was temporarily closing  its nearly 850 locations in Russia and halting operations in the country.

Soon after the McDonald’s announcement, other prominent food companies and restaurants followed. Starbucks said it, too, was closing all of its locations in Russia, where they are owned and operated by the Kuwait’s Alshaya Group.

Coca Cola said it was halting sales there.

PepsiCo, whose products have been in Russia since the early 1970s, said it would no longer sell Pepsi and 7-Up there but would continue to produce dairy and baby food products in the country as a “humanitarian” effort and to keep tens of thousands manufacturing and farm workers employed.

Russian operations make up only 3 percent of McDonald’s operating income but 9 percent of its revenue. Likewise, Russia accounts for $3.4 billion, or 4 percent, of PepsiCo’s annual revenue of $79.4 billion. In the last two decades, Russia has been one of the fastest-growing markets for American brands, particularly fast-food chains.

Meanwhile, Universal Music Group said it is suspending all operations in Russia and closing its offices – joining a growing list of companies protesting against the war in Ukraine.

“We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement.

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