Publix Is Getting Rid of This in Stores, Effective Immediately

The retailer has already started removing this product nationwide.

Publix is a fan-favorite supermarket for shoppers who live near one. And with more than 1,200 locations spread across the Southeast, you might be closer to the grocery chain than you realize. From clean and well-organized spaces to the famous "Pub Sub," Publix's loyal customers come back time and again to stock up on their faves. But if you're a frequent visitor, you may notice that something is missing on your next grocery trip. Publix just announced that it's getting rid of one product in stores nationwide. Read on to find out what the chain has already started removing.

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Publix is removing Russian vodka from its stores.

Bottles of several global brands of vodka, the world’s largest internationally traded spirit with the estimated sale of about 500 million nine-liter cases a year.

Maria Brous, the director of communications for the supermarket chain, confirmed that the Publix has removed Russian-made vodka brands from its stores nationwide as of March 2, Fox Business reported. The effort was made to show support for Ukraine against the recent Russian invasion.

"Publix stands with the people of Ukraine," Brous told the news outlet. "The following Russian-made vodka brands have been removed from our liquor store shelves: Beluga, Ruskova, Russian Standard, and Zyr."

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The grocery store chain will still have an advertisement that features Russian alcohol.

The wine aisle sign at a Publix grocery store with a variety of wines from various vineyards.

There will still be ties between the grocery chain and one Russian-made alcohol brand in the coming days, however. Publix's sales advertisement on March 3 will feature a Russian-made vodka, NBC-affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida, reported. According to Brous, the chain's "sale circulars" are printed weeks in advance and this timeline has left them unable to remove the product from the printed advertisement for that day.

But Publix has removed the ad from the online version of its circular. "No Russian-made vodka will be available for sale even though they will appear in the printed ad," Brous also confirmed to the news station.

Publix is not the only chain to remove Russian alcohol from its stores.

kroger storefront

Publix is just one of a growing list of companies trying to show their support for Ukraine. On March 1, Kroger confirmed that it had recently pulled all Russian-produced vodka from its stores, NBC-affiliate WLWT in Cincinnati, Ohio reported. "As America's grocer, we're taking action to show our support and solidarity with Ukraine," the Cincinnati-based grocer tweeted from the official Kroger News Twitter account. "Over the weekend, we removed Russian-produced vodka from our shelves."

Total Wine & More also announced on Feb. 28 that it had removed all Russian-made products from its stores "in support of the Ukrainian people." Food Lion and Target confirmed that they are not currently sourcing any vodka from Russia as well, Insider reported.

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The U.S. does not import much alcohol from Russia.

Vodka shots

These displays of support don't stop with businesses either. According to The Wall Street Journal, at least 11 states have banned the sale of Russian-made alcohol from government liquor stores as of March 1. But these bans and removals are likely to be just a symbolic form of support that won't have have a large monetary effect, Reuters reported. This is because not much vodka is actually imported to the U.S. from Russia.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, only 1.2 percent of the country's vodka imports actually came from Russia in the first half of 2021 and Russian vodka accounted for just $18.5 million of the $1.4 billion worth of total vodka imports for the U.S. last year. In comparison, the council reported that France accounted for $660 million.

And many brands with Russian names aren't actually made in Russia.

Smirnoff Bottles on an Ice Background

If you go shopping for alcohol in the coming weeks, chances are you'll still see alcohol being sold with Russian names. According to The Wall Street Journal, most of the bans and removals will only apply to three alcohol brands: Russian Standard, Hammer & Sickle, and Ustianochka. Other popular alcohol brands sold in the U.S. with Russian names aren't actually owned or produced by Russia. Due to this, some liquor stores are declining to oust "Russian" vodka from their shelves, Insider reported.

Some of these alcohol companies with Russian names have even spoken out against the attack on Ukraine. The Stoli Group behind the Stolichnaya brand told CNN that it "unequivocally condemns the military action in Ukraine and stands ready to support the Ukrainian people, [their] teams and partners." Diageo, the London-based maker of Smirnoff vodka, also paused its exports to Russia and Ukraine on March 3, per Reuters. "Our priority is the safety of our people in Ukraine and the wider region," a spokesperson for the brand told the news outlet.

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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