Nestlé Will Still Sell Products In Russia, But It's Not What You Think

Some might consider crunchy Kit Kat bars as an essential grocery item. Not only do they have the distinction of being the first candy bar to be designed and "marketed around sharing" with others, per Time (with four wafer-filled sections, you can easily oblige your friend's request to "break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar”), but they're also one of the most popular processed chocolate treats in the world — especially in Japan.

Crispy Kit Kats began their life in England in the 1930s and hit store shelves in Europe and the U.S. before dropping in other countries around the world, according to Time. The pioneer candy bar probably laid the foundation for other international phenomena, like Butterfinger and Snickers, to gain fame around the globe. That's why the magazine named Kit Kat one of "the most influential candy bars of all time.” Today, Kit Kat bars in dozens of flavors can be found in more than 80 countries, per Nestlé, and are manufactured in 16 countries, including Canada, India, Germany, and Australia. Russia is no longer on the list.

Nestlé hasn't been 'quik' to leave Russia

As the war continues in Ukraine, Nestlé, one of the largest food and beverage manufacturers in the world (via Food Engineering), is suspending sales of "non-essential” brands — like Kit Kat, Nesquik, and others — in Russia. In a statement, the company said that it will instead focus on essential goods, like baby food and formula and products tailored for medical or hospital use. The company has stopped advertising and investments in the country and plans to donate any profits to organizations that provide humanitarian relief. The statement also details the "food supplies and significant financial assistance" that the company has provided to Ukrainians. "This approach is in line with our purpose and values,” it reads. "It upholds the principle of ensuring the basic right to food.”

Nestlé's announcement comes following growing criticism of the Swiss-based food behemoth for continuing its business in Russia several weeks into the conflict. Among those taking aim at the company was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Over the weekend, according to the New York Post, the leader mentioned Nestlé in a speech televised to the citizens of Switzerland. "'Good food. Good life,”' he said. "This is the slogan of Nestlé. Your company that refuses to leave Russia."