With Coca-Cola and Pepsi leaving, Russian firm says it’s time for a Chernogolovka

Faced with the suspension of sales of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Russia, the makers of Cola Chernogolovka hope to quench the thirst of Russians even in the big American fast food chains.

Chernogolovka, a beverage company named after a town outside Moscow where it was founded in 1998, told Reuters on Wednesday that it has doubled its presence in hotels, restaurants and cafes so far this year, and is now supplies Russian Burger King and KFC outlets.

“We think this is far from the limit,” the company told this outlet in response to questions. “Since April, Burger King and KFC have been supplied with Chernogolovka drinks.”

In addition to Cola Chernogolovka, its brands include Baikal, an energy drink named after a Siberian lake, and Duchess, a lemonade, both sold at Burger King and KFC.

“We are in talks to expand the range of beverages we supply to this chain,” Chernogolovka said of Burger King.

Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc suspended sales of soft drinks in Russia in early March, joining the many Western consumer brands that have scaled back operations in the country in opposition to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Pepsi, in particular, had a long history in Russia, dating back to the Cold War, when then-US Vice President Richard Nixon was photographed presenting it to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at an exhibition in Moscow.

Pepsi sent colas to the Soviets in exchange for Stolichnaya vodka to sell in America.

Burger King, run by parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc (RBI), cut corporate support for its Russian outlets in March but, caught in a complex legal web, has been unable to exit its association or close its roughly 800 outlets. franchisees.

A branch of Burger King in Moscow.  REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev.

A branch of Burger King in Moscow. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev.

KFC, owned by Yum Brands Inc, has halted its investments in Russia and suspended operations of the 70 restaurants it owns there, but Yum has limited control over the independent franchisees that run most of the 1,000 locations that remain open.

An RBI spokesman said that Burger King is not involved in day-to-day operations in Russia. Yum Brands did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reuters report; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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