Woolworths changes name of popular product in support of Ukraine

Mar 10, 2022
Chicken kiev? No thanks. Chicken kyiv? Yes please. Source: Getty

Major Australian supermarket chain, Woolworths, has pledged its support for Ukraine by making a simple but powerful change across their stores.

Woolworths will rebrand all products previously sold as chicken kievs, to chicken Kyiv’s, in support of the Ukrainian resistance of Russian infiltration.

According to Neil Bermel, a Professor of Russian and Slavonic studies at the University of Sheffield, “about 25 years ago, the name Kiev started disappearing from maps, to be replaced by Kyiv. The latter is simply the Ukrainian “version” of the name, spelt in the Latin alphabet instead of in Cyrillic.”

“After Ukraine became independent and asserted its own linguistic identity, the Ukrainian forms Kyiv, Kharkiv and Lviv came to the fore,” wrote Bermel.

“A similar example is Mumbai and Kolkata, which, in deference to local norms, replace the colonial names of Indian cities Bombay and Calcutta,” Bermel continued.

Woolworths stand is not the first of its kind. On March 8, United Kingdom grocery chain Sainbury’s committed to changed all chicken kiev products to chicken Kyiv.

It is thought that both the Sainbury’s and the Woolworths changes are happening as a result of mounting pressure from a social media campaign, calling for this action to happen across all major grocers in the UK.

In response to the campaign, Marks & Spencer denied making the change, releasing a statement to Independent, saying “Marks & Spencer will always use the Kyiv spelling whenever and wherever we are talking about the Ukrainian city.”

“However, ‘chicken kiev’ has been in use for over 100 years and has been recognised by our customers since M&S brought the product to the high street in the 1970s.

“Our priority is to act now and make a difference with meaningful support to those most in need. That’s why we have donated to our partner Unicef UK’s emergency appeal to help protect children in Ukraine and give them access to the supplies they need, including clean drinking water and blankets.

“We’re helping customers show their support and from last Saturday, Marks & Spencer is doubling donations for any customer who selects Unicef UK as their chosen Sparks charity.”

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