October 1, 2022

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Nestle suspends several products in Russia including Kit Kat

Nestle suspends several products in Russia including Kit Kat

LONDON (Reuters) – Nestle said on Wednesday it would stop selling several non-essential products including Kit Kat bars and Nesquik chocolate mixes in Russia, in an unprecedented move amid pressure on the world’s largest consumer goods company after criticism from it. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Nestlé shares were down 1.3 percent at 1236 GMT, after hitting their lowest level in the session shortly after the news. This statement was unusual for a maker of Maggi broth and Nescafe coffee, which for decades has continued to operate in war zones around the world.

A spokesperson said Nestlé brands that have suspended their suspension make up the “vast majority of volume and sales” in Russia, which was 1.7 billion Swiss francs ($1.82 billion) in 2021. Production of these items will also cease.

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Over the weekend, Zelensky called on several companies to stay in Russia after its invasion of Ukraine and accused Nestle of not sticking to its motto of “good food, good life”. In the days before his comments, Nestlé had already drawn criticism online from shoppers, activists, investors and political figures.

The company earlier said it had halted non-essential exports and imports from Russia, halted all advertising and suspended capital investment. She also said she does not make a profit in Russia.

“We stand with the people of Ukraine and our 5,800 employees,” Nestle said. She said she would continue to pay the salaries of Russian employees.

Western companies, which maintain a presence in Russia to provide essential goods such as food and medicine, are trying to strike a balance between President Vladimir Putin’s government and Ukraine’s advocates of pulling it in opposite directions. Read more

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More than 400 companies have pulled out of Russia since it began its attack on Ukraine on February 24, leaving behind assets totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

Nestle was not alone in saying that it would continue to provide essential items for nutrition and hygiene, such as milk and diapers. PepsiCo, Unilever (ULVR.L) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N) They also said they would maintain a presence in Russia to provide essential goods.

long-term damage

Nestlé has been the target of criticism from activist groups and governments for decades over issues including the company’s bottled water manufacturing, its decision to stay in South Africa during apartheid, and its infant formula marketing practices.

“There is a history of protesting against Nestlé,” said Jadeep Prabhu, professor of marketing at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School.

“Nestlé is much more front and center than Procter & Gamble (PG.N) and unilever (ULVR.L) When it comes to people who know they are making their products, Nestlé logos are very prominent in their products.”

Twitter user Amy Vanderpol, who has nearly 350,000 followers, posted on Sunday: “Nestlé refuses to pull out of Russia even after a desperate plea from Ukraine and President Zelensky.” The publication encouraged a product boycott and included a list of Nestlé brands.

Some Ukrainian politicians and activist group Anonymous have also denounced the company, which has also urged a boycott of its products.

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“By refusing to stop commercial activities in Russia, Nestle allows the continuation of Russia’s war of aggression in Europe,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Ivanovich Kuleba, who has more than 742,000 followers on Twitter, said on Twitter on Thursday.

“The long-term damage to the company’s reputation is proportional to the scale of Russian war crimes in (enormous) Ukraine. It’s not too late to change your mind, Nestlé.”

(1 dollar = 0.9346 Swiss francs)

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Additional reporting by Richa Naidoo in London. Editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.