The international grocery store chain Kroger recently made the decision to remove Russian Vodka from its shelves in response to rising tension between the United States and Russia. This move follows recent actions taken by other large retailers like Total Wine and Lidl in the wake of increasing geopolitical conflict.
The removal of alcohol from shelves is a highly significant decision for a company as large as Kroger, particularly considering the fact that Americans reported drinking more than 300 million gallons of vodka in 2018. In this article, we will explore the reasons why Kroger decided to discontinue selling Russian Vodka and what this could mean for the future.
Understanding the Current Conflict Between the United States and Russia
Before we can understand why Kroger decided to remove Russian Vodka from its shelves, we must first explore the current conflict between the United States and Russia. The tension between the two countries has been escalating for years and is centered on a multitude of issues, including the 2018 US elections, cyber warfare, and the Ukraine crisis.
The US election interference began in 2016, when Russia attempted to interfere with the US Presidential election. Their attempted interference included targeting individuals and organizations, stealing emails, and spreading false information. Since then, the FBI has determined that foreign actors continued to attempt to interfere with the US election process in 2018.
Russia’s increasing interference in cyber warfare has become increasingly concerning to the US, as their actions have become very aggressive in nature. In addition to targeting private and government networks, they have also been accused of utilizing malware to steal intellectual property and conducting reconnaissance operations.
The Ukraine crisis, which began in 2014, is also posing a significant threat to the US-Russia relationship. After Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, the US imposed sanctions in response to the illegal action, and Russia continued to back separatists in Eastern Ukraine.
Why Kroger Decided to Discontinue Selling Russian Vodka
Kroger’s decision to remove Russian Vodka from its shelves can be attributed to several factors, including the current conflict between the United States and Russia, the potential threat to US national security, and the need to show solidarity with other retailers who have already made similar decisions.
The first factor is the current conflict between the United States and Russia. With the increasing tension between the two countries, it is no surprise that retailers like Kroger would choose to avoid becoming embroiled in such a contentious discussion.
The second factor is the potential threat to US national security posed by Russian interference. As mentioned previously, Russia has been accused of interfering with US elections and conducting cyber-attacks on US networks. By removing Russian Vodka from its shelves, Kroger is showing a commitment to protecting US citizens’ security.
The third factor is the need to show solidarity with other retailers who have already taken similar actions. Total Wine and Lidl both decided to stop selling Russian Vodka in response to the escalating conflict between the US and Russia. By following their lead, Kroger is showing that it is willing to stand in solidarity with other retailers in order to foster a safer, more secure environment for its customers.
What Does This Mean for the Future?
The removal of Russian Vodka from Kroger shelves is a significant decision with potentially far-reaching implications. It is a clear indication of Kroger’s commitment to protecting their customers from potentially harmful foreign interventions. It is also a sign of their willingness to stand in solidarity with other retailers in order to create a more secure environment.
The decision is particularly noteworthy given the fact that Americans consumed more than 300 million gallons of vodka in 2018. By choosing to no longer carry Russian Vodka, Kroger is making a statement that nation-state interference is not something to be taken lightly.
While the decision may have a minimal financial impact on Kroger in the short term, it could be beneficial in the long run. By choosing to take a stand against foreign interference, they could potentially garner more positive public opinion and receive a financial boost in the future.
Kroger’s decision to stop selling Russian Vodka is a response to the increasing tension between the US and Russia and a show of solidarity with other retailers who have made similar decisions. The decision is significant given the amount of vodka Americans consume and could potentially have far-reaching implications. While the decision may come with minimal financial implications in the short term, it could prove beneficial for Kroger in the long run as they demonstrate their commitment to protecting US citizens from potential threats.