Pepsi ends Russia output months after exit promise

STORY: Russian drink-makers are enjoying the absence of Western rivals.

Big names like Coca-Cola have stopped producing there or supplying the market.

Now one more may finally disappear.

PepsiCo says it has stopped making Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew in the country.

The move comes after Reuters visited dozens of Russian outlets and found Pepsi still on sale.

Cans and bottles were stamped with production dates as recent as mid-August.

Nearly six months ago PepsiCo said sales and output in the country would be suspended.

Now it says all production there has stopped, but a spokesman didn’t clarify if that was also true of sales.

The West has not sanctioned food and drink as part of measures imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.

And the lingering presence of Western brands has shown the difficulty of withdrawing from one of the world’s biggest countries.

Rival Coca-Cola said in March it would suspend operations there.

But its bottling company - a separate firm - continued output for some time after that.

Russia had been PepsiCo’s third-biggest market.

The company continues to sell essentials such as dairy products and baby formula in the country.