Soda, coffee and Big Macs all leave Russian market


(NewsNation) — Muscovites won’t be able to get the morning jolt of Starbucks, their Pepsi at lunch or their fountain Coke and Big Mac at lunch thanks to four major corporations pulling out of the Russian market over the Ukrainian invasion.

Led by McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Pepsico have all made arrangements to exit the Russian market. McDonald’s is closing its 850 locations, which employ an estimated 32,000 people, although it will continue to pay the furloughed employees. Starbucks is following the same path, closing 130 branches but continuing to support its 2,000 employees.

Worldwide, most McDonald’s locations are run by franchise operators, who pay the corporation a hefty fee to use the name. That’s not the case in Russia, where 84% of the restaurants are company-owned. All the Starbucks locations are owned by a Kuwait-based franchisee.

In one of the first signs of Western life coming to Russia, the first McDonald’s opened in the country 32 years ago. When it opened in 1990, the Pushkin Square McDonald’s was the largest in the world, anticipating crowds hungry to hammer down McNuggets, Quarter Pounders and hopefully even a shake if the shake machine was working.

According to the New York Times, more than 30,000 Russians lined up that day, but they’ll have to find somewhere else for lunch for the time being.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi followed McDonald’s lead, although Pepsi will continue to sell essential products like baby formula and milk.

Russia is important for Pepsi, as it’s one of the few global markets where the company beats its rival, Coke.

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