First, farewell to Nesquik, an iconic brand and a staple of the after-school kitchen counter but now according to owner Nestlé not making the sales it used to. Next, there was a time when we of the Tatler did not need to concern ourselves overmuch with the hurly burly of geopolitics and, and yet here we are. Heineken has completed the sale for €1 of seven breweries and other assets in Russia to Arnest Group, a packaging and consumer goods business based in Stavropol. The deal, conceived of even as the tanks rolled in, will result in a loss of €300m, although Arnest will take care of Heineken’s 1,800 employees at least for the next three years. Unilever, in the meantime, is umming and ahing and generally carrying on like Hamlet regarding their exit, deciding for the moment to stay out of politics and stay in Russia so their 3,000 employees won’t be thrown to the tender mercies of a state takeover. However, new boss Hein Schumacher has promised to look at the issue with fresh eyes, giving hope to campaigners who are outraged at the £30m Unilever paid in corporate taxes last year to the Putin regime.
Comment: Two approaches to a difficult decision. Where is the line in the sand?