By Jessica DiNapoli and Alexander Marrow
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Coca Cola HBC AG has started making a local cola, Dobry Cola, in Russia after stopping production and sales of Coca-Cola Co products following the mass exodus of Western companies earlier this year.
Dobry has been a juice brand in Russia but Coca-Cola HBC https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/coca-cola-bottler-detail-costs-exiting-russia-2022-08-10/, which separate from Coca-Cola Co https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/coca-cola-hbc-flags-one-time-195-mln-hit-russian-operations-2022-08-11/, said earlier this month it was exploring extending existing local brands through its Multon Partners business.
Dobry Cola has no connection with Coca-Cola or the Coca-Cola Co, Coca-Cola HBC said in a statement.
The Coca-Cola Co has a 23% stake in Coca-Cola HBC.
The Interfax news agency on Friday quoted the founder of Russian fast-food chain Teremok, which serves traditional cuisine such as borscht and blinis, as saying he had received notification from the company about ‘Dobry Cola,’ and was trying to sell it in his restaurants.
Local competitors to Coca-Cola have flooded the market since the company left Russia after it sent thousands of troops into Ukraine, while Western brands face years of court battles fighting against knock-offs.
Coca Cola HBC had been depleting its stock of Coca-Cola products since placing its last order for concentrate in March.
(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York and Alex Marrow in Moscow; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)