February 24, 2022 saw 2000 Russian troops invade border-country Ukraine in an attempt to forcibly take over the country. After the initial attack, many companies pulled out of the Russian sphere claiming that the war was not in alignment with their core values. Among those who pulled out were Coca-cola and McDonald.
However, a few companies stayed, choosing to not sever ties with Russia based on the war. Heineken was one of those companies and now, one year into the war, the liquor company is under fire for the choice.
One month after the war kicked off, Heineken promised to suspend production, sale, and advertising of its product.
Their statement made by Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink reads, « We are shocked and saddened to watch the tragedy in Ukraine unfold. We stand with the Ukrainian people, and our hearts go out to all those affected. »
However, rather than doing what was promised, Heineken released 61 more. On its website, Heineken Russia reported « record highs in multiple segments. »
Based on the growth of profits, one executive expressed understanding of the choice, saying, « Heineken is cynically benefiting from the fact that major international brands have withdrawn from Russia — the Budweiser and Carlsberg brands were much bigger there. »
This did not sit well with Twitter’s users who believe that their lives are more important than money. One tweep shared a picture of Heineken bottles that read « Proud supporter of Russian genocide. »
Many in the comment section announced their plans to boycott Heineken after learning what was happening.
One user wrote: « Not buying your products anymore…I’m sure it tastes like blood. »
« I promised not to buy anything from any company who still does business with Russia. Sorry but I’m out! » wrote another.
Another user shared a list of all Heineken brands and wrote, « Heineken is a year too late. Everyone should boycott Heineken and all its brands. »
How will this affect Heineken and what will they do next?