Stolichnaya To Rebrand As 'Stoli' After Russian Invasion Of Ukraine
by Rudy Sanchez on 03/10/2022 | 1 Minute Read
The Stoli Group, a privately-held company with disputed international rights to the Stolichnaya brand name, has announced that it is rebranding the popular vodka as simply “Stoli,” in response to the latest Russian military actions in Ukraine.
Stolichnaya vodka’s roots go back to the Soviet Union. Since the dissolution of the USSR and the rise of Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, the ownership of the brand has been in dispute between state-owned FKP Soyuzplodoimport and the privately held Stoli Group. The Stoli Group founder, Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler, has been in exile since the 2000s due, in part, to this struggle for the Stolichnaya brand. Shefler purchased Stolichnaya in 1997 from Soyuzplodoimpor for $285,000.
“While I have been exiled from Russia since 2000 due to my opposition to Putin, I have remained proud of the Stolichnaya brand,” Shefler said in the same press release. "Today, we have decided to rebrand entirely as the name no longer represents our organization. More than anything, I wish for 'Stoli' to represent peace in Europe and solidarity with Ukraine.”
Despite its strong association with Russia, Stoli Group’s vodka has been made in Lativa since the 2000s. Stoli further noted that, moving forward, it would source ingredients from Slovakia to ensure its product is totally Russian-free.
Finally, the Stoli Group also pledged financial support to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine by donating to World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization whose aim is to feed those in crisis due to natural disasters and conflict.