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March 6, 2022

Vodka is the best-selling spirit in the U.S., accounting for 78.1 million 9-liter cases sold in 2021, up from 62.7 million cases in 2011, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). However, Russian vodka imports have declined by nearly 79% in that period and now account for only a small proportion of vodka sold in the U.S. marketplace, said Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president of public affairs for DISCUS. Russian vodka accounted for just $18.5 million—or 1.3%— of all vodka imports to the U.S. in 2021, compared to $660 million imported from France, $291 million from the Netherlands, $177 million from Sweden and $137 from Latvia, according to DISCUS. Cox acknowledged that removing Russian vodka from shelves in Utah was—like holding rallies in support of Ukraine—a “mostly symbolic” gesture, and compared it to the raising of the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.

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