This comes despite a pledge by the Dutch brewery to cut ties with the sanctioned country
Heineken Russia has registered several brands with the word "cola" in the name, business daily Kommersant reported on Monday, citing documents filed with the Federal Service for Accreditation.
The Russian division of the Dutch beverage giant has reportedly registered such trademarks as Royal Cola Original, Royal Cola Zero, Tony Lemony Orange and Tony Lemony Lemon that are expected to fill market gaps left by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo after they opted to quit Russia due to sanctions.
The drinks could be bottled in glass or plastic bottles, as well in aluminum cans, and would be manufactured in Russian factories owned by Heineken.
Heineken is Russia's third largest beer producer, operating seven brewing plants across the country. The company's portfolio includes more than 35 local and international brands, including Amstel, Kruovice, Affligem, and Gsser. Last year, its revenue in the country totaled $613 million.
In March, Heineken announced plans to halt new investments and exports to Russia. Later, the company said it would stop making, advertising and selling Heineken products in the sanctions-hit nation, citing "the current environment." It pledged to continue reduced operations in Russia for the safety of its employees and to "minimize the risk of nationalization" until a buyer for the business can be found.
At the same time, US soft-drinks giant Coca-Cola announced plans to suspend business in Russia, joining the exodus of Western brands amid sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. Coca-Cola operated 10 factories in Russia, producing soft drinks including Fanta, Sprite and Schweppes, along with local brands such as Bonaqua, Dobry, Moya Semya, and Rich juice.
PepsiCo also announced similar steps, saying it would suspend sales of Pepsi-Cola and other drinks of its global brands, including 7UP and Mirinda, in Russia. The company still sells its dairy products, baby foods, juices and snacks in the country.
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