Russian Bear vodka.
Facebook/Russian Bear Vodka
The name on the label says Russian Bear and South Africans have been enjoying the spirit – the origins of which can be traced back to the 8th century – for many years. But the only thing Russian about the popular brand is its name. In fact, it is being produced locally by a company founded in 1848 by former Durban mayor Edward Snell.
With the current conflict in Ukraine, trade between Russia and South Africa has become a concern for many consumers.
Despite the name of the brand – which also comes in flavours like wild berry, vanilla, and pineapple – it is very much a South African product, according to the wholesale wine and spirit merchant company which owns the brand.
“Our Russian Bear vodka brand has absolutely no affiliation or link to Russia whatsoever. It is 100% locally owned and produced,” a spokesperson for Edward Snell & Co. told Fin24 on Monday. “We don’t anticipate any effect on sales which may result from any miss-association.”
Edward Snell does not import any of its brands from Russia. According to its website, the bulk of the company’s production takes place at a facility in Johannesburg. The company says it has seen substantial growth in its Russian Bear brand, which has won local and international awards, in South Africa and the region in recent years.
“Proudly produced right here in South Africa, Russian Bear vodka has set the bar for fantastic quality vodka without compromising on style and peer credibility,” the company states on its website. All Russian Bear vodka is triple distilled.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can
trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to
a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism,
top opinions and a range of features. Journalism
strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.