In its yellow and red wrapper, Marabou has been Sweden’s favorite chocolate for more than a hundred years. The one they grew up with and continue to buy all their lives. For many, however, it is no longer a question of touching it. Like all the other brands of the Mondelez International group, Marabou has been the subject of an unprecedented boycott in Sweden, as well as in Norway, since the Ukrainian agency for the prevention of corruption put the American multinational on its list of “international war sponsors”May 25, 2023.
kyiv criticizes Mondelez for maintaining its operations in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. The group – one of the world leaders in the food industry, number one on the biscuit market in France, owner of LU, Prince, Oreo and Côte d’Or – has three factories there, which employ 3,000 people. According to Ukraine’s Corruption Prevention Agency, Mondelez paid $61 million in taxes (55.8 million euros) to the Russian state in 2022.
In April, a call for a boycott launched in Sweden against Absolut Vodka, owned by Pernod Ricard, led the spirits group, which had just resumed its exports to Russia, to quickly backtrack. This time, the aviation company Scandinavian Airlines was one of the first to react, announcing on June 8 that it would no longer offer Mondelez products on board its planes. Its competitors Norwegian and Wideroe immediately imitated it.
No more chocolates in stadiums or trains
The Norwegian Football Association has in turn announced that it will no longer sell chocolates and cakes from the Freia brand – just as famous in Norway as Marabou in Sweden – in stadiums, while the Norwegian Hiking Association has decided to interrupt its cooperation with the supplier of Kvikk Lunsj, the official snack for Norwegian walkers for fifty years.
In Sweden, the railway company Statens Järnvägar (SJ) followed the movement, on June 10, by removing Marabou chocolate and O’boy chocolate milk from the menus of its dining cars. A few days later, the company Parks and Resorts, which owns several amusement parks and zoos in Sweden, joined the boycott, followed by the shipping company Stena Line, which operates 39 ferries in Europe, and by the giant of Ikea furniture.
More unusual, on June 13, the Swedish armed forces announced, in turn, that they would no longer place an order with Mondelez. “Over the past year, we have supported Ukraine in different ways and this is another way to offer our support”explained the spokesperson, Guna Graufelds, specifying that the reproaches addressed by kyiv to the American company were “serious”.
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