American soda “Putin Punch” created to support Ukraine


An independent soda maker based in New Britain, Connecticut, launched a special edition of new sodas on Tuesday in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The flavor is called “Putin Punch”, and part of the proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Avery’s Beverages is the company behind the new fruit punch line, which features a label depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin punched in the face with a blue and yellow boxing glove, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Above the flavor title is the hashtag #standwithukraine.

The soda maker has previously dabbled in news-related flavors, including ones based on past presidential elections and a “coronavirus cocktail.” But Avery chief executive Rob Metz said Newsweek that “Putin Punch” was born out of a desire to help the Ukrainian people.

“This one is less frivolous than some of the others we’ve done,” Metz said. “It made sense to do something that we can use as a vehicle to donate to a good cause that can help people there.”

Avery’s Beverages in New Britain, Conn., introduced a “Putin Punch” flavor on Tuesday. Part of the profits are donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
Avery’s Drinks

Metz described the rapid process from project conception to production of an actual product. He said Avery’s team came up with the name first, and they knew right away they needed a “Putin getting hit in the head” image for the label.

Unable to find a suitable image themselves, the team approached a local cartoonist who had previously created label images for the company. The artist came up with a few options, and a graphic designer from Avery put the finishing touches on the image that ended up on “Putin Punch.”

Metz said they had the photo of Putin getting punched on Tuesday morning, and later that day they had their first bottles for sale.

“It took less than a week from the creation of a product to the shelf,” he said.

“Putin Punch” immediately proved to be a best seller for Avery’s Beverages since the company introduced it. The independent bottler is already working at full speed to keep bottles available.

“On a good day, we can make 2,500 to 3,500 bottles a day, when the machines are running well and everyone is showing up,” Metz said. “But we are going to launch it because it has dominated our production capacity since we started a few days ago.”

As for finding the actual flavor so quickly, Metz said Avery relied on an old recipe.

“We already had a fruit punch flavor. We just tweaked it a bit,” Metz said. “It’s less sweet than our usual flavors and a bit more tart.”

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.


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